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.