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The 100 Greatest Angels: #48 Scot Shields

#48 Scot Shields, RH RP

Career Stats

Manager Mike Scioscia called him the team's most valuable pitcher in 2004. He appeared in 60 games that season. In 2005 he set a single season Angels record appearing in 78 games. He is 31 appearances shy of cracking the team's all-time Top Ten for Games Pitched.

In 405 almost exclusively middle relief innings, Shields has 28 victories and 11 saves. His rubber arm could make him a #3 starter on at least two-thirds of the teams in the majors, but unlike former bullpen mate Scott Schoeneweis, Shields is a team player who has never complained about his assigned role - even though it has likely cost him millions in salary considering the differences in paychecks between Starting pitchers and Middle Relievers.

Rob McMillin of the 6-4-2 Southern California Baseball Blog has Scot's bio:

In late May, 2001, Shigetoshi Hasegawa's shoulder hurt, and so he went down on the 15-day DL. It was reason enough for the Angels to call up righty starter Scot Shields from Salt Lake. Despite a tumultuous spring training -- in one particularly disastrous game, he surrendered five runs on seven hits -- he returned to starting for the Stingers, and had compiled a 3.69 ERA by the time the club called him up. Shields, a 38th round pick whose father and grandfather were career minor leaguers, pitched a scoreless eleven innings that year before the Angels optioned him back down to the minors.

Called up again in mid-June after injuries felled relievers Dennis Cook and Al Levine, his first game in the Angels' 2002 march to the title wasn't so successful, surrendering three earned runs to the Dodgers in a June 15 blowout that featured a six-run collapse by Scott Schoeneweis. But the rest of the season, he showed the kind of spectacular relief that would go on to become a hallmark of recent Angels teams, giving up only 12 earned runs (13 total) for the balance of the season, over 49 innings.

Tried out in the Angels' injury-battered 2003 as a starter, the exit of Troy Percival in 2004 as the team's closer and has pushed Shields into the setup role formerly occupied by Francisco Rodriguez. Mike Scioscia's overreliance on his fabled "rubber" arm resulted in some rough patches in 2005, but he returned to effectiveness after Kelvim Escobar came back to relieve some of that pressure from him. He continues to be a key part of the Angels bullpen.