Verlander Wins Fansided Pitcher of the Year
“Big Game” James Shields had a tremendous year for the Rays. He was the workhorse of the starting rotation and the anchor of the Rays staff. Shields led the Rays in basically every pitching statistic this season including wins and ERA. He pitched an almost unfathomable 11 complete games. It was a really good season, but this year belonged to Justin Verlander, who had a great season. In what was probably one of the worst surprises of all time, Verlander was named the Fansided AL pitcher of the year on Sunday.
For the first time in a few years, there was no debate on who was the best pitcher in the American League. The only question around Verlander for much of the second half was whether or not he could be named the AL mvp as well. He cooled some down the stretch to quiet some of that talk, but he was clearly the class of the field. He finished with 24 wins and led the league in strikeouts, ERA and innings pitched.
Shields finished a respectable fourth in the voting, behind Jered Weaver and CC Sabathia. He was consistently among the best the entire season and was in the top ten in most major pitching statistics. He also tied for the league lead in shutouts with four and was third in the league in strikeouts. The question now for the Rays and Shields is: can they keep him? Shields can become a free agent in 2013 and if the financial situation of the Rays doesn’t improve, the possibility of him moving on becomes more and more likely.
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