Padres Editorial: James Shields Postseason Record A Concern


Man, I was waiting all weekend for this to happen. Constantly refreshing twitter and annoying my wife with the latest rumors all weekend long. So, come 10:30 pm PST, Sunday night, it looked to me like it wasn’t going to happen until Monday after all. That had me concerned about what sort of last minute offer the Cubs, Marlins, or some other dark horse candidate might have just made that was going to cost A.J. Preller another big free agent signing.

Then, to my surprise when I woke up yesterday morning, I see news all over my phone that the San Diego Padres had signed RHP James Shields just minutes after going to bed the night before. It’s kind of like being at a restaurant, going to the restroom, and then finding your food waiting for you when you get back to your table. 

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As our own Billy Brost reported earlier, the Padres and ace free agent, James Shields, have agreed to a contract of 4-years worth around $75 million. That is a number I can’t remember the Padres giving a player in a long, long, long time.

While I was delighted to land Shields after weeks and weeks of rumors and uncertainty, a sudden worrisome feeling crept up on me. Was this really the guy to dump that much money into? The first big player signing that A.J. Preller would forever be tied to? His reputation to rise or fall depending on the success of this one player moving forward?

I have to share some skepticism about Shields here because, being not only a Padres fan, but a fan of all San Diego sports teams, I’ve seen so many promising players and teams representing San Diego do well in the regular season but fall flat and choke embarrassingly in the postseason. This city so desperately wants a championship. Is Shields a guy that can give that to us?

For his career, Shields has made 11 postseason appearances with 3-6 record and an ERA of 5.46; compared to his regular season 113-90 record and 3.21 ERA. The nickname “Big Game James”, kind of feels like a sarcastic one when you see those statistics. Is anyone else freaking out a little about those numbers like I am?

Well, regardless of how you feel, James Shields is a Padre now. I’m looking forward to seeing how Shields does at Petco Park this season. I want him to succeed and get the Friars that World Series title that has eluded our city since 1969. One thing you do have to love about him though, the guy is a workhorse pitching machine. Shields has thrown over 200+ innings the last 8 seasons in a row. That is an impressive stat to find when it feels like a handful of Padres pitchers are having Tommy John surgery every season.

What do you guys think? Are you worried about Shields’ postseason record now that the Padres are, at least on paper, looking like a postseason team now?

Do you think Padres are the real winners of the 2012 Shields/Myers trade now?

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