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He’s a shell of his former self now DJ LeMahieu Jersey , but Shields is still a workhorse of a starter."The Detroit Tigers enter this offseason with no apparent plan to spend more than a modest amount of money to fill required gaps in their roster. General manager Al Avila has identified starting pitching as an area the team will focus on to add to their very weak roster. The free agent market has a healthy number of quality arms available, but nearly all of which will simply be too expensive or just plain uninterested in signing with the Tigers. Frustrated blogger feelings aside, we must still sift through the dregs of this market’s offerings to identify some possibly matches.When reviewing the Tigers’ current starting pitching situation, two things stick out. One is that there are only two names you can write in for guaranteed rotation spots all of 2019: Michael Fulmer and Jordan Zimmermann. Matthew Boyd has a lock on a job, but he is one of the stronger candidates to be traded this offseason. The Tigers will likely give Daniel Norris a shot at a starting spot out of spring training, but he has yet to prove he can remain healthy and effective for a full year. Recent signing Matt Moore could open the year in the rotation, but he was demoted to the bullpen last year with the Texas Rangers due to ineffectiveness.That still leaves the job to pick up any extra starts to the likes of Blaine Hardy, Spencer Turnbull, Buck Farmer, Matt Hall, and others. The Tigers best “innings eater” last year was Boyd, who logged 170 innings. The next closest? Francisco Liriano at just 133 2鈦? innings pitched. Put simply, the Tigers need someone they can plug into the rotation for a full season to absorb work that would otherwise fall to a slew of young, unproven arms that would risk being crushed under the demands of being thrust into heavy workloads (not to mention the added challenge of facing MLB hitters).Enter James Shields, a pitcher who tied for third in the American League in innings pitched and who can likely be had at a very modest salary this winter.Why would he be a fit?We all know from the past two-plus years of watching him pitch on the south side of Chicago that this isn’t the “Big Game James” of yesteryear. Long gone are his days of Cy Young consideration and front-line starter billing, but what remains is something he has done his whole career: eat innings. From 2006 to 2018, the MLB leader in innings pitched is our old friend http://www.rockiesfanproshop.com/authentic-chad-bettis-jersey , Justin Verlander. Right behind him? James Shields. What about Felix Hernandez, Cole Hamels, Jon Lester, CC Sabathia, and Zach Greinke? Sorry, you just don’t stack up to what James and Justin have done.Even as he has declined, Shields averaged six innings per start for the White Sox last year, rebounding nicely from a career-low innings count in 2017.He has had to reinvent himself quite a bit to get there, though. His fastball velocity has consistently dropped year after year from its peak in 2014 (93.4 miles per hour) to just 90 mph in 2018. Here’s a chart showing how slow James Shields’ fastball is nowThis is also a chart showing how fun the Tigers areIn his prime, Shields relied primarily on his fastball and changeup.As he began to lose velocity and his ERA grew, he finally dropped his arm slot in 2017 and started using his curveball and cutter more often. This helped him limit the damage and extend his outings again. His breaking ball offerings are nothing special, but he has learned to use them enough to keep hitters honest and off his ever-slowing fastball.At the end of the day, while his overall line isn’t impressive from an ERA standpoint — he managed a 4.53 ERA and 5.09 FIP last year — the fact that he logged 204 innings of work and kept his ERA at a respectable level is nothing to scoff at, particularly for the Tigers, where he would have lead the team in innings and his ERA would have been just behind Zimmarmann’s. Its not sexy, but it’s the kind of work the Tigers really need for 2019. This would allow them to carefully work in their younger arms into more controllable situations so as not to overwhelm their young talent in a rebuilding year (not to mention guard against inevitable injuries).Why wouldn’t he be a fit?Honestly, I have nothing for why he wouldn’t be a fit on this team, other than he may just not be interested in joining a team with no desire to win at this point in his career.That said Todd Helton Jersey , it’s highly unlikely any team with aspirations of contending in 2019 will see him as an upgrade to their current pitching staff, so he will likely end up simply taking the best offer he can get if he intends to pitch in in 2019. The Tigers have no designs on winning in 2019 (as we know of), so his ERA isn’t a huge issue. If he stays healthy and eats innings, he’s a productive player for this team.Will he sign with Detroit?Its anyone’s guess at this point. He’s unlikely to get more than a one year deal from any team. Chicago could reunite with him after declining his $16 million option, but they have a stable of MLB ready young arms they need to find work for. With more budding talent breaking into the majors this year, they are probably looking for a more impactful arm to add as they try to work back into contention. The Tigers just need a veteran to go out there every fifth day and give the bullpen and young guys rest. A move to a larger home ballpark and an improved defense behind him should keep the games close if he is on the mound. He certainly isn’t going to wow anyone with his stuff, but if you’re honestly looking at what the Tigers need in 2019, he fits well. Expect the Tigers at be linked to him at some point because there are several reasons he fits here this year. LOS ANGELES (AP) — While one homer after another rocketed into the stands at Chavez Ravine, the Los Angeles Dodgers‘ dugout celebrations became increasingly incredulous.Five homers in the first six innings? Followed by three more in swift succession in the seventh? Even the Dodgers’ power-packed lineup was impressed by itself.“We were all wondering if it was a record,” Enrique Hernandez said with a grin.After the Dodgers finally finished hitting eight home runs in a 12-5 victory over the Arizona Diamondbacks on Thursday, they all agreed they had never experienced an opening day quite so powerful.Neither had any team in major league history, actually.Hernandez and Joc Pederson each homered twice as Los Angeles set the big league record for homers on opening day and tied the franchise mark for any game.The Dodgers’ pursuit of a third straight National League pennant and seventh consecutive NL West title got off to a thrilling start, with no trace of a hangover from that World Series-ending loss to Boston in their previous game on this field last October.Hernandez, Austin Barnes and Corey Seager all homered in the fourth inning to chase Arizona ace Zack Greinke. Max Muncy, Cody Bellinger and Hernandez then connected in a four-batter stretch of the seventh, abruptly obliterating the opening day record of six homers set by the Mets in 1988 and matched by the White Sox in 2018.“This is a fun offense,” Muncy said. “A couple of guys go out and get a homer, and it makes you want to get one of your own.”Los Angeles also equaled the franchise mark for a game set against Milwaukee on May 23 http://www.rockiesfanproshop.com/authentic-chad-bettis-jersey , 2002, when Shawn Green hit four of the Dodgers’ eight.“Hitting is contagious,” Bellinger said. “You see guys hit, and you want to get into the party.”The Dodgers finished second in the majors last season with 235 homers, and they were even more potent in their first regular-season game under new hitting coach Robert Van Scoyoc. All eight dingers were hit by returning players to the Dodgers, who have only two new position players on their opening day roster.“Everyone kind of knocked us last year for scoring too many runs off homers,” Muncy said. “But if you’re going to do it, you might as well do it like that.”Adam Jones and Christian Walker went deep for the Diamondbacks, but their pitching staff’s eight homers allowed also set a team record.The Dodgers provided ample support for Hyun-Jin Ryu, who yielded four hits and struck out eight over six stellar innings as Los Angeles’ first opening day starter not named Clayton Kershaw since 2010. Kershaw’s franchise-record streak of eight consecutive opening day starts ended due to left shoulder inflammation.Meanwhile, Greinke’s latest return to Dodger Stadium was a debacle.The $206.5 million right-hander allowed four homers for the fifth time in his career, but only the second time this decade. The Dodgers also hit four against their former star on Sept. 5, 2016, in Chavez Ravine, where Greinke has allowed 14 homers in 34 innings since his big-money move to Arizona.“Yeah, it was bad,” Greinke said. “Not really much to build off, because all that stuff was bad Charlie Blackmon Jersey , so that’s probably the most disappointing thing.”Arizona reliever Matt Koch allowed the Dodgers’ other four homers over a seven-batter stretch in the sixth and seventh. The embarrassing loss added to a rough week for the Diamondbacks, who lost probable cleanup hitter Steven Souza Jr. to a season-ending knee injury Monday.“You band together, and you get off the ropes, stagger back into the middle of the ring and keep punching,” manager Torey Lovullo said. “And I know this team will do that.”JOC STARTPederson delivered as the Dodgers’ leadoff hitter. After doubling and scoring in the first inning, he hit one of Greinke’s curveballs 420 feet to straightaway center in the second. He added a two-run shot off Koch in the sixth before the Dodgers reached historic homer territory in the seventh.SEAGER’S RETURNTwo outs after Hernandez and Barnes hit back-to-back homers, Seager chased Greinke with his first homer since April 28. Seager was back in the Dodgers’ lineup for the first time since missing nearly all of last season due to Tommy John surgery.POLLOCK’S STARTA.J. Pollock played center field and batted fifth in his Dodgers debut, going 0 for 3 with a walk. Pollock, who spent the previous seven seasons with the Diamondbacks, and Justin Turner were the only Dodgers starting position players who didn’t homer.JONES’ DEBUTJones went 2 for 4 while batting leadoff for the Diamondbacks, who signed the 33-year-old outfielder 17 days ago. Jones spent the previous 11 seasons in Baltimore, making five AL All-Star teams.TRAINER’S ROOMDiamondbacks: Lovullo put Walker at first base on opening day instead of Jake Lamb, who was injured for part of spring. Paul Goldschmidt had been Arizona’s starting first baseman for the previous seven opening days.Dodgers: Kershaw formally went on the injured list before the game along with lefties Rich Hill and Tony Cingrani.UP NEXTRoss Stripling is back in the Dodgers’ rotation for now, and the versatile 2018 All-Star welcomes the chance to prove himself while Kershaw and Hill are out. He faces Arizona lefty Robbie Ray, who looked great during spring training with 32 strikeouts in 16 1/3 innings.