Originally posted on The Flagrant Fan  |  Last updated 6/6/12
After watching James Shields pitch for the Tampa Bay Rays last night against the Yankees, something seemed wrong with the pitcher. At no point last year did Shields seem to be so vulnerable. But then again, last year was such an improvement over what Shields did in 2009 and 2010, is this just Shields reverting to form after a career season or just a bad stretch? He is 6-4, which is nothing to sneeze at. And his FIP is 3.82, some forty points below his ERA of 4.27. But he does not look like the same guy. And so some time was spent pondering Shields this morning. The more his numbers were looked at, the more confusing they seemed. First, Shields has not lost any velocity. So we can rule out health problems. In fact, his velocity is up across the board to the highest levels of his career. He still induces a lot of batters to swing at pitches out of the strike zone. His ability to do that this year is at 34.2 percent, again the highest of his career. His batted balls have cha...
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