Maddon said the decision regarding which of the pair would pitch on Sunday with regular rest would be determined by how each of the pitchers did on Tuesday. Well, both did fine. Each threw a complete game against the Red Sox and each used 114 pitches while doing so.
Maddon will now wait until Friday to announce who will start against the Mariners on Sunday and who will face Justin Verlander when the Tigers come to Tropicana Field on Monday.
"We're just checking everything out right now," Maddon said.
Maddon wants to see how each pitcher recovers from their respective outings.
"It's about what happens [during their recovery period]," Maddon said. "So let's go TBD for now. ... One of those two guys will pitch on Sunday, the other will pitch on Monday. ... I don't think they know about Verlander yet."
Maddon has tinkered with the starting rotation over the last month, leaving most of the starters well rested, but cranky to get back on their regular pitching schedules.
After pitching with five or six days' rest lately, Shields was asked if he could pitch with just four days of rest.
"I haven't done it in a while, so I don't know," he laughed. "I definitely can, for sure. I've been changing my routine around a little bit the past couple of starts to wear my body down some to stay ready."
Both Shields and Niemann allowed three hits Tuesday.
The way they pitched "didn't make it any easier for [Maddon to make a decision], but it's a good problem to have," Shields said.