White Sox: Can James Shields Turn It Around in 2017?

The White Sox rotation has one confirmed member for the 2017 season, James Shields. After his 2016 struggles, can he turn is fortune around for next season?

The Chicago White Sox have some pieces to compete in the 2017 season, but they need a lot of help on both sides of the ball. With the trade rumors circulating, the White Sox and its fans can relax knowing that one starting pitcher will be staying put next season, James Shields. After his see-saw 2016 season, can he turn it around?

We all know about Shields’ success in Tampa Bay, which earned him the nickname “Big Game James.” He then spent a couple of years with the Kansas City Royals and San Diego Padres. As the Padres began to rebuild, they were able to unload Shields onto the White Sox in June.

Shields time with the White Sox was not good from all points. Fantasy owners hated him, Chicago fans didn’t want to see him and I could image Shields himself wanted out of the slump. Just how bad was it, though?

In 22 starts with the White Sox, he went 4-12 with a 6.77 ERA, 1.697 WHIP, 6.1 K/9 and 4.3 BB/9. He allowed four or more runs in 11 games while pitching for Chicago.

Since the 2013 season, his numbers have continued to decline. I’m not sure if it’s age, the division, or just skill, but looking at his numbers while with the Tampa Bay Rays, it may be the latter.

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With the declining numbers comes a drop in ADP. Shields was a 21st round pick in ESPN leagues and finished outside the top 500 on the Player Rater, a -3.27 score. That’s not good.

The White Sox will definitely be looking to move Shields. However, his contract and poor performance will make it very difficult. It’s likely that he will be the No. 2 starting pitcher in the rotation, No. 3 if Chris Sale remains with the team. Regardless of where he’s slotted, it will make no difference on his value.

I’m not sure who is hoping for a better season from Shields – White Sox management or any fantasy owner that has him in a dynasty league. As far as standard or AL-only leagues, Shields should remain on the waiver wire. At the most, he may be usable as a streaming option or spot-start depending on the matchup.