James Shields named 2013 Joe Burke Special Achievement Award Winner
The Royals announced that starting pitcher James Shields has been selected as the 2013 Joe Burke Special Achievement Award winner. The award was voted on by the Kansas City Chapter of the Baseball Writers Association of America (BBWAA). The Joe Burke is awarded to an unsung player who contributed above and beyond what was expected, or someone who the writers felt deserved recognition for an outstanding season.
Shields, 31, was traded to the Royals on December 9, 2012 and immediately became the ace of the pitching staff. He posted a 13-9 record with a 3.15 ERA in an American League-best 228.2 innings in his first season in Kansas City. The veteran righty also led the league in quality starts (27), tied for the American League lead in games started (34) and ranked seventh in strikeouts (196). His 27 quality starts were tied for the third-most by a Royals pitcher and were the top total since Kevin Appier posted 29 in 1993, while his strikeout total was the sixth-highest in club history.
Shields was one of the best pitchers in baseball after the All-Star break, going 9-3 with a 3.06 ERA in 14 starts after the Midsummer Classic. His nine victories after the break were tied for the most in the Major Leagues. He also collected a 10-3 mark with an American League-best 2.07 ERA in 18 road starts.
During the final month of the season, when the Royals were making their push for a postseason berth, he went 4-1 with a 3.18 ERA, allowing just four runs in his final 29.0 innings of the season. He collected his 100th career victory with a 6-1 triumph over the White Sox in Chicago on September 27.
The Royals plan to announce the 2013 Bruce Rice Pitcher of the Year on Monday, November 4 and the 2013 Les Milgram Player of the Year on Tuesday, November 5.
Afternoon Update: The Royals have exercised Shields’ 2014 club option.