Originally Posted by duncan_idaho
Side note on Shields:
I was looking at his PitchFx data to try and quantify the claims that he changed his approach after 2010. The difference was pretty astounding. He has always been a fastball/change heavy pitcher, but...
From 2010 to 2011/12, Shields drastically reduces the use of his two-seam fastball and cutter by about 60 percent while ramping up his curve and slider. As a result, his harder offerings - which got blistered in 2010 - become more effective.
It's not unusual for a guy around 30 to change his approach, but that's pretty drastic.
Oh, and his average fastball velocity has actually ticked up since he changed this approach. So even though he just turned 31, that's trending positively (unusual for pitchers this age).
From what I read, Shields probably has one of the best changeups in the game, and he relies on it heavily. That might explain some of his durability.