After spending the last two seasons atop the Kansas City Royals starting rotation and with four Opening Day starts earlier in his career with Tampa Bay, James Shields will open the season for the San Diego Padres Monday against
He’s been called “Big Game James” more because it rhymes than for his actual performance in the clutch, but Shields could certainly be called “33-Game James” after making 33 or more starts in each of the past seven seasons (and 31 starts in 2007).
With eight straight years of 200 innings or more, the 33-year old should prove a solid investment for the Padres, who inked him to a four-year, $75 million free agent contract this winter.
In his first full season in a starting rotation, Tyson Ross was very impressive with 195 strikeouts in 195 innings and made the All-Star team for the first time. The 27-year old suffered from poor run support, but with all the moves the Padres made over the off-season (including the additions of Justin Upton, Matt Kemp and Wil Myers) that shouldn’t be a major issue in 2015.
Third starter Andrew Cashner was great when he wasn’t on the disabled list in 2014, and was solid this spring (2.45 ERA in 18.1 innings across five starts) as well. Ian Kennedy set a career high with 207 strikeouts last season and should be one of the top fourth starters in the National League.
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