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Tuesday, October 21, 2014

Royals Injury Update: James Shields passed a kidney stone


By on 10/21/2014 12:45:00 PM

Right hander James Shields, who is scheduled to start Game 1 of the World Series, struggled for several days with a health problem that was only revealed in a press conference after the Royals swept the Baltimore Orioles in the ALCS, according to Andy McCullough of the Kansas City Star.

Shields began to feel back pain on Sunday, Oct 5, and it continued through the ALCS, with a CT scan revealing he had passed a kidney stone. “It was excruciating pain,” Shields said during Monday’s workout.

In the regular season, "Big Game" James had a an exemplary record, 14-8 with a 3.21 ERA (ERA+ 124) in 34 starts, a WHIP of 1.181 in 227 innings. However, his postseason outings have not been as felicitous: in three starts (Wild Card, ALDS Game 3, ALCS Game 1) he has allowed ten earned runs (ERA 5.63), with batters hitting .309/.365/.485 against him. The Royals won all three games, thanks to timely hitting, defense and a great bullpen. 

“I haven’t pitched the way that I’ve wanted to,” Shields said (as quoted by McCullough). “There’s no doubt about it. I feel like I could pitch better. But that said, I’ve felt really good. My bullpen sessions have been really good. I feel as good as I can feel right now."

Shields, now finishing his ninth major league season, was acquired by Kansas City in a trade with the Tampa Bay Rays in December 2012.  The Rays sent Shields, Wade Davis and Elliot Johnson to the Kansas City Royals for Patrick Leonard (minors), Mike Montgomery (minors), Wil Myers and Jake Odorizzi. The trade was much discussed at the time, as the Royals traded top prospects in an effort to get their team to the playoffs in the two-year window (2013-14) before Shields' contract expired.

Prior to the trade, Shields had sent his career with the (Devil) Rays, who drafted him in 2000 (16th round). He made his debut May 31, 2006, and compiled a record of 87-73, ERA 3.89 in seven seasons, throwing over 200 innings every year after 2008, He was named an AL All-Star in 2011, and made four postseason starts, including a win in Game 2 of the 2008 World Series. Shields is under a seven year $38.75 million contract through 2014. It is considered unlikely that the Royals will be able to re-sign him after the season.

  (Rose Ingberman) and read her blog Lady and the Nats
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