White Sox veteran starter entering his final season with the team and will get the nod to start on Opening Day against one of his former clubs.
The White Sox will begin their 2018-2019 season in Kansas City next Thursday, Mar. 29, with right-handed pitcher James Shields on the hill.
Prior to joining the White Sox, the 36-year-old spent seven seasons with the Tampa Bay Rays. He then moved to the Kansas City Royals after being traded from Tampa Bay. After Kansas City, Shields signed with the San Diego Padres in 2014.
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On June 4, 2016, Shields was traded to the White Sox in return for Erik Johnson and Fernando Tatís Jr. Shields made his first start with the White Sox against the Washington Nationals. He allowed 7 earned runs in 2 1⁄3 innings pitched before Robin Ventura took him out of the game. The White Sox ended up losing 11-4.
In better news, on April 6, 2017, Shields won his first game of that season, pitching 5 1/3 innings, allowing only two hits and one run, throwing five strikeouts and five walks.
On June 25, 2017, he gave up the first Major League home runs to three Oakland Athletics rookies This was the first time three rookies had hit their first Major League home run in the same game.
During this year’s spring training, Shields has only appeared twice on the mound. He allowed seven runs on eight hits and two walks while striking out four over 3.2 innings on Mar. 18 against Oakland. The White Sox lost that game 14-0.
Shields is 9-19 with a 5.99 ERA in 43 starts with the Sox since joining the team in June 2016. Shields had a tough season in 2017, he went 5-7 with 103 strikeouts but had a decent end to the year with two quality starts in September.
"“He’s staying confident, staying focused and showing you that the competitive juices still flow and that [he has] the ability to adjust in a game that requires a lot of adjustments.” Rick Renteria"
Shields doesn’t let his past haunt him and is optimistic about the upcoming season according to Greenberg.
"“I don’t put too much emphasis on what kind of year I’ve had in the past,” he said. “I’m feeling really good right now and hopefully will have a good season this year.” James Shields"
Shields’ contract is up after this season.