Skin Blues wrote:Home ERA since start of 2011: 2.78
Road ERA since start of 2011: 3.58
That road ERA looks pretty damn good to me, no? I can't imagine too many guys in the AL East would have managed something like that over the last two seasons.
The ballparks he pitched in do not explain that big of a gap in home vs road ERA. The ballpark and defense did a lot to cover up the fact that this is not an ace. In a neutral environment with a neutral defense (which is how we should assess a pitcher's true value) he's probably a 3.75 true talent ERA pitcher.
If you pitch most of your road games in Fenway, Yankee Stadium, Rogers Centre, and Camden Yards (locations where HRs occur very frequently), I think that goes a very long way to explaining why you genrally do worse on the road than at home. Especially for a pitcher like Shields whose only real issue is allowing the home run ball.
He gets extra points for being so durable, but those innings will catch up to him, just like they do to everybody.
There's no reason to think those innings will catch up to him at any point in the next two seasons, if they even do at all.
We're talking about his true talent, and external factors like facing worse hitting does not mean that he's a better pitcher. But yes, he will be facing worse teams while with KC, both on the road and at home. But Kauffman has been a neutral hitter/pitcher park for the past 3 seasons, while the Trop has been an extreme pitcher's park in 2010/2011/2012. Don't know what numbers you're looking at that show they're equal.
True talent? I'm talking about how he'll do in Kansas City. That's the only thing that matters here (to both the Royals and his fantasy owners). It makes little sense to complain about Shields' home/road splits considering he's going to be pitching in a home park that limits home runs and pitching in a division with much easier opponents and ballparks that don't induce home runs at anywhere near the frequency of the AL East parks. If he was traded to Colorado, there might be some reason to worry about him. Not Kansas City.
Maybe he'll be good, maybe not. personally I'd look for an ERA closer to 4. And yes, regardless of how good he is this year and next, it does nothing to lessen the blow of this terrible decision by the Royals.
Shields has managed a 3.15 ERA over the last two seasons in the toughest division to pitch in in baseball. There is little reason believe that's suddenly going to shoot up to 4.00 when he starts facing teams like MIN, CLEV, CHI, and DET with regularity. Shields should do his job effectively for Kansas City. The issue for them will be getting the rest of the roster good enough to contend.