2) James Shields will not pitch 200+ Innings.
For the first time since 2006, James “Big Game” Shields will not reach the 200+ IP plateau in 2015.
Why so? One reason: this is the first season in which he becomes a full-time hitter.
In a transition from being an American League Pitcher, Shields now has to regularly step into the batters box as a hitter. The National League game is different from the American League in regards to the no DH rule, so there will be situations that Shields will probably be pulled earlier in games for a pinch hitter.
Is this a bad thing? Absolutely not. It should help the 33-year-old stay fresh, especially if this team wants to make a strong playoff push. Padres fans, don’t panic, but don’t expect to see 200+ innings out of your new ace this season.