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What to do with struggling James Shields

7/2/2014
James Shields was touched up for five runs in five innings, and has a 4.93 ERA since May. AP Photo/Jim Mone

Kansas City Royals right-hander James Shields is putting his fantasy owners in quite a spot, as Tuesday evening was the sixth time in eight outings the top-20 starting pitcher from draft day and long-time reliable had permitted four or more runs in game. Based on his track record and the preseason investment, nobody would cut him. But like Detroit Tigers right-hander Justin Verlander and Cincinnati Reds right-hander Homer Bailey, the frustration boils and owners are left to ponder how to react when there’s little that can be done except show patience. This is, after all, the No. 63 starting pitcher on the Player Rater.