In a move that comes about three blown saves too late, the Los Angeles Angels have finally placed ailing reliever Scot Shields on the disabled list.
Shields has been a downright disaster all season long and only recently admitted to suffering from patella tendinitis that was affecting his performance, leading to a 1-3 record and a 6.62 ERA. In place of Shields, the Angels have recalled Rich Thompson from Triple-A.
Shields has been one of the chief culprits in igniting the gasfire that the Angels’ bullpen has turned into this season. Jose Arredondo, who has been no savior himself, will assume full-time set-up man duties while Shields rests up. The hope is that a period of rest will get Shields back to his old self in a matter of weeks, but the relief corps will certainly suffer in his absence, making it all the more likely that Kelvim Escobar ends up working as a reliever when he rejoins to the ballclub in early June.
Of course, Shields’ injury raises the specter of a possible World Baseball Classic curse. Shields is just one in a long line of pitchers who participated in the WBC and suffered health problems in the following season. I for one would gladly thank the Angels front office if they elect to block all their pitchers from participating in the next WBC.