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Shields keeping focus on next start

August 27, 2018

NEW YORK -- James Shields has helped the White Sox on the mound this season, with his 170 2/3 innings ranking third in the American League behind Corey Kluber and Justin Verlander. He has added 16 quality starts to the resume.In the process, Shields has shown he can help other

NEW YORK -- James Shields has helped the White Sox on the mound this season, with his 170 2/3 innings ranking third in the American League behind Corey Kluber and Justin Verlander. He has added 16 quality starts to the resume.
In the process, Shields has shown he can help other teams further along in pursuit of the postseason. But after 13 seasons in the Majors and what will be 400 career starts as of Tuesday night at Yankee Stadium, the veteran right-hander really isn't trying to prove anything to anyone beyond himself.
"I've proven that I can eat innings up and post every five days," Shields said. "That's been the story of my career. I feel like I always had to prove myself no matter what, even in the Minor Leagues when I was coming up.
"I never was that prospect guy. And when I got to the big leagues, I never was that power guy. It was my job to go out there and try to save the bullpen. I did a pretty good job of that over my career. But again I'm proving stuff to myself more than anything."
Teams still have through Friday to add a pitcher of Shields' ilk via a waiver-wire deal and make him eligible for the postseason roster. Left-handed reliever Xavier Cedeno is another White Sox player who could draw potential interest.
Shields remains focused on start No. 400, working in the bullpen to correct a problem of dragging his arm upon delivery late in his last start at Detroit and leaving pitches up, leading to home runs. He's also scheduled to pitch Sunday at home against the Red Sox.
"Just keep doing my thing, you know," Shields said. "Overall I'm really happy with my season and I'm not really thinking about that [trade possibility] too much.
"My main goal was to stay healthy. I'm not out here to prove to anybody what I'm capable of doing. Just a matter of my health. And for the most part in my career I've been pretty healthy. The last couple years I've been banged up a little bit. This year I feel great."
Jones making progress
Nate Jones threw off the mound Sunday in Detroit for the first time during his latest rehab stretch. The right-hander, out since June 12 with a right pronator muscle strain, threw 20 pitches, focusing solely on fastballs and changeups.
"Everything went well," Jones said. "Everything felt good during and afterwards and today I feel all the good soreness. So we are progressing in the right direction."
Jones has definite hopes of pitching for the White Sox before the end of the season.
"Oh, absolutely. That's what we are shooting for," Jones said. "Again, I try to live it day by day. I assume we have a couple of more bullpens, a live BP or so and go from there."
Jimenez can hit
How did Eloy Jimenez follow up his three-hit effort for Triple-A Charlotte on Sunday, where the No. 1 White Sox prospect and No. 3 overall per MLB Pipeline finished a home run short of the cycle? He knocked out four singles in four at-bats Monday, raising his average to .378 with the Knights. Jimenez is hitting .621 (18-for-29) over his last seven games.

"Everybody sees the numbers he's putting up every day," said White Sox manager Rick Renteria of Jimenez. "We see what everybody else sees. We see a man that's excelling at the Minor League level.
"He's putting together a really good season and hopefully it's one of those things where he has continued to grow and mature. Whenever the time might be when he joins us, he's certainly showing that he's putting himself in a good position and readying himself to be here."

Scott Merkin has covered the White Sox for MLB.com since 2003. Follow him on Twitter @scottmerkin and Facebook and listen to his podcast.