Skin Blues wrote:I didn't say he wasn't pretty damn good. I said he was significantly better at The Trop vs on the road, an advantage that he will be losing.
By going to Kauffman, a park that suppresses home runs/keeps balls in the park? He's just not losing much there.
Again...the home/road splits thing would matter if he was going somewhere like Colorado or if he wasn't leaving the toughest division in baseball with elite offensive teams and HR-inducing ballparks throughout it. But he isn't...he's going to KC in the pitch in the awful AL Central. That will only help him, not hurt him.
They catch up to everybody. Halladay, Sabathia, Haren. He's been great so far and like I said, he gets extra points for being so durable.
Saying Shields could get hurt is like saying any pitcher could get hurt. Except in his case he has a long track record of good health, so he's far less likely to do it than many, many others. Not sure why this is being brought up.
We're evaluating a trade, or at least I was.
I'm just talking about James Shields, how good a pitcher he is (one of the best in the AL) and how he'll do in KC (presumably very well). But if you're evaluating the trade, that means you have to look at it from the perspective of how he will do in Kansas City (as that's what they're bringing him in to be...a pitcher in Kansas City), not this theoretical "true talent level" that doesn't make a bit of difference here.
If this was a debate about where Shields ranked among major league pitchers or even a debate for the Cy Young award, his "true talent level" would enter into it for me. But I don't think that's what is going on here.
The fact that he's facing weaker teams doesn't mean that he's a better pitcher.
No, but facing much lesser competition means there's good reason to think his numbers will improve or at least stay much the same.
And yes HRs are a concern for Shields (although probably not as much as before as he had one of the highest GB% in the majors last year), but he's not immune to other park factors which make Tampa an overwhelming pitcher's park.
HRs are THE concern for Shields. They're what caused his poor seasons in Tampa and they are still really the only thing holding him back from being a true elite in the game. He has a good K rate, exceptional command and control, and as you mentioned, an improving GB rate. Going to the AL Central with easier teams and less offensive, HR suppressing ballparks will not hurt him in this area.