Steve sent in the following question:
I have to choose between the two in a 14 team H2H league and I’m trying to weigh my options. I know Vasquez had a subpar year in 2008, but the consistency is tough to overlook. He consistently throws over 200 innings, has around 200 strikeouts and his K/BB ratio is usually better than 3:1. What intrigues me about him is his move from the AL to the NL and pitching in Atlanta. Can his numbers improve in that league, pitching in that ballpark? As for Shields, he’s been tough the past couple years, posting similar numbers, but I’m worried about him being able to handle the workload, especially pitching deep into the playoffs and having to face the Yankees and Red Sox 36 times this year. Any thoughts?
I understand the allure of Javier Vazquez returning to the NL and pitching for the Braves, but don’t get caught up in all the hype. He was last in the NL in 2005 with the Arizona Diamondbacks, when he posted an ERA of 4.43. Of course, his other numbers were very good (1.25 WHIP, 192 K), but when comparing him against Shields every little bit counts.
Shields, pitching in possibly the best division in baseball the past two seasons, has been tremendous. He’s put up WHIP’s of 1.11 and 1.15, as he hardly walks anyone as evidenced by his 1.67 BB/9 last season. That’s a huge advantage, as he should easily outperform Vazquez in the WHIP department (Vazquez WHIP last season was 1.32). I know Vazquez has shown the potential to post a miniscule WHIP before, but Shields gets the advantage with that type of control. Read more