Wednesday, March 10, 2010

All-Aught Indians--RP3--Paul Shuey (2000-2002)

Paul Shuey was a flame-throwing, right-handed reliever, who never seemed to pitch as good as you thought he could. This Lima, OH native had three plus pitches, starting with a blazing fastball with movement, a splitter, and a superb, late-breaking curveball. When the Indians drafted Shuey in 1992 out of the University of North Carolina, they believed they had their closer of the future. Unfortunately, a variety of injuries and a propensity to walk batters under pressure situations kept him from becoming that closer. It didn't, however, keep Shuey from becoming a productive set-up man. The All-Aught Indians relief pitcher #3 is Paul Shuey.

Shuey was the second pick in the first round of the 2002 draft, and the Indians and everyone else figured that Shuey was going to be a monster closer in the future. Cleveland would first call Shuey up in 2004, straight from Single A Kinston, and made him their closer. He would ultimately save five games, but after imploding in back-to-back games in June, the Indians would send him down to Buffalo for the rest of the season.

Over the rest of the nineties, Shuey consistently showcased his wicked stuff, consistently was on the dl, and consistently proved that he was a set-up man, and not a steady closer.

In 2000, Shuey would continue to dazzle and frustrate at the same time. In May, June, Shuey was one of the best relievers in baseball. He would record five holds, go 1-0 with a 0.84 ERA, 10 strikeouts, walks and only two hits in 10 2/3 innings pitched. In May, his hip would begin to bother him, and his ERA would rise to a high of 3.10 before going on the DL on May 21. He would miss five weeks after hip surgery, a run through the dl and a rehab assignment. He would return in late June, and would make 40 more appearances. Overall, Shuey would lead the AL in holds, with 28, while going 4-2 with a 3.39 ERA. Opponents only averaged .219 against him. He would strikeout 69 batters and walk 30 batters. Another solid year, albeit a frustrating one.

2001 would be a similar scenario for Shuey. He would be one of the better relievers in baseball through June 12, going 5-3 with six holds and a 2.60 ERA before an elbow injury would put him on the dl once again. It was his ninth time on the dl in his career. He would come back at the end of the June better than ever. Over the next ten games, he would add two more holds with a 1.59 ERA. The Indians would put Shuey back on the dl on July 23 until September with another elbow injury. Overall, Shuey would post a 2.82 ERA in 47 games and 54 1/3 innings. He would strike out 70, with 26 walks.

Shuey would blaze in 2002. He wouldn't give up a run in his first 15 appearances, holding sixe games, and going 1-0. He would give up just six hits and five walks during the stretch, while striking out 11 over the 14 total innings. His ERA during June was 0.00. His ERA in May was 0.69. He would have one bad outing in June, but would end up on the dl for the 11th time in his career, this time for a groin pull. He would be back in late June, and would continue his torrid pitching. He would give up only three more runs through July 24th. That was the day he was traded to the Los Angeles Dodgers, ending his tenure as an Indian.

The 2002 season was his best yet. He ended the season with the Tribe having gone 3-0 with 12 holds, 39 K's, 10 walks and a .225 average against. Shuey will forever be remembered as a vastly talented reliever who could never quite be the closer people wanted him to be. Instead, he was just a fine, fine reliever.

He would end the decade with the Tribe having gone 12-5, with 12 saves, 47 holds, 178 strikeouts, 66 walks and a 2.95 ERA. Imagine what could have happened had he been healthy. Even with the injuries, he was still nearly as good as it gets.

No comments:

Post a Comment