Thursday, May 25, 2006

A modest proposal

Sam Bass got me thinking as well, and he's directed my sights toward Scot Shields (no relation to ex-Brave hurler Steve Shields) of the struggling O.C. Angels. He's not a closer, but he's as durable a reliever as there is in baseball, accumulating 198 innings out of the pen from 2004-05. Yet he's never spent time on the DL, and this season he's off to a stellar start, with a 1.03 ERA through 26 innings pitched.

Shields' career numbers are stout -- 432.2 IP, 356 HA, 148 BB, 376 K's and a 2.69 ERA. One downer, however: Shields has blown nine out of 22 lifetime save opportunities.

But he's pitched well in the postseason and has the stuff to close. Considering he's never held the job outright, Shields' resume as a ninth inning option is incomplete.

Moreover, there's a clear match with the Bravos. The Halos are desperate for offense, and they're particularly lacking at the hot corner. Enter Wilson Betemit. I know, none of us want to trade him (and I'm pretty sure CD would be against this proposal), but I'm not sure we have a choice. It's good to have Chipper insurance, but otherwise where is he going to play? (Left field and 1B are options down the road, but are we certain Willie B can handle either position?)

I am certain that the Braves need bullpen help, and, if available, Shields just might be the answer.

How about:

Shields and Macier Izturis (a switch-hitting slick fielder, much like his brother Cesar) for Betemit and Villarreal?

Naturally I'd rather do said deal with Escobar, Pena, Lerew or even Salty, but I don't think that would be enough.



At 7:36 PM, Blogger Sam Bass said...

Interesting that you mention the Angels' need at 3B -- for a couple of years I've harbored a secret desire to see what we might get for Chipper, and they've always seemed a likely trade partner.

It would never happen, of course, because Chipper has right of refusal, and his repeated willingness to restructure his contract for the good of the team mitigates his own decreasing effectiveness. But they might go for Betemit, since Kotchman and McPherson haven't panned out yet.

Anyway, thanks for the rec. You guys are prolific and consistently informative.


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