RAYS EXERCISE 2012 OPTIONS FOR SHIELDS, FARNSWORTH;

By on November 1, 2011

For Immediate Release courtesy of the Tampa Bay Rays
October 31, 2011
ST. PETERSBURG, FL—The Tampa Bay Rays have exercised their 2012 club options for right-handed pitchers James Shields and Kyle Farnsworth.  They declined the 2012 option for catcher Kelly Shoppach. Shields, 29, was named to his first All-Star Team in 2011 and went 16-12 with a 2.82 ERA (249.1-IP, 78-ER) in 33 starts.  He established career highs in virtually every statistical category while setting club records in innings pitched, complete games (11) and shutouts (four).  His 11 complete games were the most by any pitcher in 12 years.  Shields was the first AL pitcher with 11 complete games and four shutouts in a season since Roger Clemens of the 1992 Boston Red Sox.  Shields was named the Rays 2011 Most Valuable Player by the Tampa Bay Chapter of the Baseball Writers’ Association of America, the first pitcher to be chosen for the honor in 10 years.  The six-year veteran is the franchise’s all-time leader in wins, innings pitched, starts, quality starts and strikeouts.  He has been named the Rays recipient of the Roberto Clemente Award for three consecutive seasons. Farnsworth, 35, earned a career-high 25 saves and compiled a career-best 2.18 ERA (57.2-IP, 14-ER) over 63 relief appearances in his first season as a Ray.  It was his ninth season of 60 or more appearances, and his five victories tied a career high.  He led the major leagues with five saves requiring four or more outs.  The
13-year veteran ranks fourth among active pitchers with 776 career games pitched.  Shoppach, 31, spent the last two seasons (2010-11) with the Rays.  In 2011 he appeared in 87 games, including a team-high 71 starts at catcher.  He caught 15 of 41 attempted base stealers (36.6 percent), second-best percentage in the majors. –RAYS–

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