Veteran setup man Scot Shields told reporters in late September that he was considering calling it quits at the conclusion of the 2010 season in order to spend more time with his family. He also left open the possibility of returning “if the right situation comes up.”
Today, he’s pretty much of the same exact mindset.
Shields told Mike DiGiovanna of the Los Angeles Times on Wednesday evening that he “feels good” physically, but that he has not yet made up his mind about the future.
“I’m not leaning any way,” Shields said by phone from his Michigan home on Wednesday. “If something comes along that seems like it’s a good deal in a good place, I will play. If not, I’ll be happy to stay home and spend time with my family.”
The 35-year-old Shields boasts a fantastic 3.18 career ERA and 1.24 career WHIP, and he was rightfully named the “setup man of the decade” by Sports Illustrated last year.
He did, however, post an ugly 5.28 ERA in 2010 and a 6.62 ERA in 2009.
Sam Miller of ESPN has an amazingly fantastic story today. It’s about a high school tournament baseball game in Rhode Island in 2006. It’s not your typical game story or oral history or look-to-the-past-to-see-the-future kind of thing. The only nod to such conventionality is mention of the fact that former Red Sox prospect Ryan Westmoreland played in the game. That’s mostly a footnote.
No, the article is about a trick play — “skunk in the outfield” — concocted by one of the coaches. About how it played out and what went into it before, during and after it happened. Along the way Miller talks about the nature of trick plays and offers a good three dozen amazing insights into the psychology of young baseball players and the strategy of baseball as it unfolds in real time.
Each of these observations could anchor its own story but here they form a grand mosaic. And that’s only mild hyperbole, if in fact it’s hyperbole at all. Indeed, most treatments of such a play would be some video clip with a “wow, look what happened here!” sort of couching. Miller gives a more than ten-year-old trick play an epic treatment that is every bit as enlightening as it is entertaining.
Set some time aside to read this today.
This is unfortunate: Diamondbacks reliever Rubby De La Rosa will undergo Tommy John surgery. This will be the second Tommy John procedure of his career, the first coming back in 2011.
De La Rosa has had elbow issues for his entire career. Last year his UCL was barking again and he underwent stem cell therapy to try to avoid a second surgery, but it obviously hasn’t worked out. He’s pitched in only nine games this year, allowing four earned runs in seven and two-thirds innings, striking out 12.
I first saw De La Rosa in spring training in 2011. I thought his stuff was pretty phenomenal and figured he’d be a good one. Great stuff is often a function of heavy strain on an elbow, however, and pitchers breaking is, unfortunately, the rule in baseball far more than the exception.
He’ll miss a year at least. We likely won’t see him until spring of 2019, most likely on a minor league deal.