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A Whole Lot of Nothing – Brian Rogers for Sean Casey

This is one of the low risk, low return type of trades that at the end of the day, probably won’t have much of an impact one way or the other on how the team does down the stretch.  Sean Casey is a a career .304 hitter, and he will take a walk (.377 OBP this year).  The problem is, he hits for pretty much no power.  He has three homeruns this year, and other then his breakout 2004 season, Casey’s hit no more then 14 homeruns in a season in the past five years.  Casey’s biggest problem is, while he doesn’t strikeout a ton, the downside of that is a ton of double plays.  Casey grounded into 27 last year and is pretty slow.

On the flip side, everyone points to Chris Shelton’s struggles but he seemed to be getting back on track.  In a “what have you done for me lately,” Shelton hit .289/.344/.386 in July.  He hit only one homerun.  While that doesn’t sound too impressive, Casey hit .308/.389/.359 with no homeruns in July which isn’t that much better.

Neither Casey nor Shelton are stellar fielders, so that’s a wash.  Basically, I see this deal as insurance.  It gives us one more guy in case Dmitri Young has a melt down, or someone like Marcus Thames, who’s been spending some time at DH, gets hurt.  And it gives Chris Shelton some time to experiment and maybe get back to where he was in April without much pressure down at Toledo.  On top of that, Casey is supposed to be a good locker room prescence.  While I don’t really look at that as a huge positive, it’s much better then getting someone with a bad attitude (duh).

And you have to feel for Casey.  He went from the worst team in the National League to the best team in baseball right now.  He seemed excited on the radio so hopefully the chance at a ring gives him some motivation and he gets off to a nice start tomorrow.

[…] Tigers fans are not exactly thrilled at landing powerless Sean Casey, even though he cost Detroit the equivalent of a mechanical pencil. (Tigerblog) […]

Posted by The Big Lead » blog » The Roundup is Honored, Yet Ornery. on August 1st, 2006 at 3:20 am

The cost was low, but in a season like this who cares? Casey is not an upgrade over Shelton, and there’s a very good chance that he’s a downgrade.

Posted by Dan on August 1st, 2006 at 5:45 am

After Young’s performance at first base yesterday, I’d say one more solid field at 1B in the form of Casey’s a good pickup. Let’s keep Young at DH.

Posted by adr on August 1st, 2006 at 5:49 am

Young is a substandard DH, and Casey is no better than Shelton. No one has given me even a single reason why Casey will be better than Shelton. His OBP is higher, so there’s one reason, but as we’ve already discussed, this is more than offset by Shelton’s power. Casey has ZERO power. He’s an overrated defender, while Shelton is an underrated defender. Sure, it didn’t cost us much, but it doesn’t fix anything. On top of everything else, Shelton has more upside, even for the rest of this season, than Casey by virtue of their relative ages alone.

Young is not good. I just do not understand why everyone still thinks he is. That was 3 years ago. At this point we’re better off sending Young down and having Casey take HIS place on the roster. Nobody realizes how bad Young is likely to be. He refuses to take a walk, and when these hits stop falling he will be a striking-out, grounding-itno-double-plays disaster.

Posted by Dan on August 1st, 2006 at 6:57 am

Sure Casey is a decent player but like dan said, getting him and sending down Shelton doesnt fix anything. We had a chance to go for the throat and we didnt. We could have made a move to put us ove the top and we didnt. now instead of relaxing this august and september, we have to pray that the collapse doesnt happen. The pitching is strating to slide, hitters are looking the free swinging buch we have seen in the past. The twins show no signs of slowing down while we show many signs of slowing.

Posted by Michael on August 1st, 2006 at 7:21 am

What’s the big deal about power? The Tigers still have 6 guys that can hit 20+ homeruns and knock players in. They need baserunners just as much.

Sure, they don’t have a bona fide power hitter, but almost any one of them, at any time, can hit a home run.

Shelton has exactly six home runs in his last 262 at bats. That does not describe power in the least. After the fielding fiascos in the last two days, Casey is an upgrade. How many times did a Shelton strikeout kill a rally this season when a walk would have done a job. He grounds into double plays, but Shelton pops out (a lot) with first base unoccupied from swinging at pitches high out of the strike zone.

It’s a good trade for a left-handed bat if you ask me. If they don’t win it all this year, they will be poised for years to come because they didn’t give up anything in return.

Posted by Chris on August 1st, 2006 at 7:51 am

I’m not saying it was a bad trade. It wasn’t, mostly because we didn’t give up much. What I’m saying is that it doesn’t make the Tigers that much better, and it’s a distinct possibility that it didn’t make them better at all. Casey is overrated as a fielder, while Shelton is underrated. He doesn’t draw any more walks than Shelton does, and the difference between their OBPs can be chalked up to a bunch of extra singles for Casey. Singles are good, but Shelton is going to hit more doubles and homers. It’s not going to kill me to have Shelton out of the lineup, but that isn’t the point. The point that Mike and I are making is that the Tigers didn’t add anything to put the division away. Some of our pitchers are either starting to slip or are well into a collapse. When Monroe becomes his old self, the Craig Monroe who has been bad for about 2000 major league plate appearances, and Dmitri Young cools down, this offense is going to be in major trouble. If you think Casey is going to help fix that you’re setting yourself up for disappointment. He is a very overrated player.

This is to say nothing of the fact that he’s coming over from the National League, which is the lesser league. TI don’t believe the difference isn’t quite as large as ESPN thinks it is, but it’s true that players from the NL tend to be not quite as good when they move to the AL, while players from the AL tend to see a spike in their numbers. He’s left-handed, so that’s good, but other than that it does very little, if anything at all, for us. From listening to the Tigers the last couple of months you’d think that the general quality of the hitter is a total non-issue as long as he bats left-handed. Pretty ridiculous.

Craig Wilson is a much better hitter than Casey. David Delucci would have been a better pickup. Carlos Lee. There were options, and we picked up a mediocre player when we’re in the middle of a magical season.

Posted by Dan on August 1st, 2006 at 8:13 am

Agreed. we had a chance to get alot better and it wouldnt have “cost us the farm”. Craig wilson went to the yankees for the flesh and blood equivolent of 6 bags of fertilizer (chacon). Delucci was availble…Tom Gordon was avaialbe… there were tons of non-Soriano moves they could have made to really really make this team a force. the Yankees got a ton better. a ton. if they dont get the wild card the red sox will. we need to win the division. an 7 1/2 game can evaporate in, well, 7 1/2 games. The casey trade on paper is a goos trade because we didnt give anything up. but it made us marginally better if that.

Posted by Michael on August 1st, 2006 at 9:34 am

Tom Gordon would have been a great pickup.

Posted by Dan on August 1st, 2006 at 12:15 pm

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