The problem with Sean Casey

by billfer on November 21, 2006 · 47 comments

in Defense,Offense,Players,Statistics

When Sean Casey was resgined I indicated I didn’t like the deal, but never really elaborated. My issue is that as nice a guy as Sean Casey is, he just isn’t very good.

Offensively Casey is at best an average hitter. His OPS+ since 2002 looks like this (OPS+ indexes a players OPS against the league average. 100 means the player is average, values above 100 mean above average)

Year	OPS+
2002	78
2003	98
2004	142
2005	104
2006	87

Over the last 5 seasons Casey has had 1 good year, 2 average years, and 2 bad years. Even if Casey can regain his earlier form, that merely means he is an average offensive player at a position where considerable offense is expected.

So for the sake of argument let’s assume that Casey gets back to be a league average hitter. That puts him slightly below average at his position. But what about defense?

David Pinto just released his Probablistic Model of Range numbers for first basemen and Sean Casey ranked only above Jason Giambi in terms of defense. According to PMR, Sean Casey made 24 plays fewer than expected in 2006. That is beyond bad. Keep in mind that due to the playing time that Casey missed, he was only in the field for approximately 2/3 of the season. A full season at first would have resulted in 32 missed plays for Casey.

But what is the impact of missing that many plays? If we take a very conservative approach and assume that each ball Casey missed resulted in a single (keeping in mind that a good portion probably resulted in double if they were down the line) we can estimate that each missed play cost his teams (Pirates and Tigers). The run value of a single is .47 and the run value of an out is -.28. So the cost of missing a play that results in a single is .75 runs. So Sean Casey’s fielding cost his teams at a minimum 18 runs.

So back to our hypothetical for next season in which Sean Casey is an average offensive player at an above average offensive position, you have to subtract 18 runs (or actually 24 runs over the course of a full season). If Casey can replicate 2005 when he was average and played almost a full season, that would be good enough for 98 runs over 162 games (he had 83 runs created over 137 games). So Casey’s net contribution would be about 74 runs.

But if not Casey then who? How about one Christopher Bob Shelton? But I know, Shelton was awful after April Looking at his May through July numbers he only generated 31 runs created. If he continued to hit at that anemic rate for a full season he would produce 62 runs. And defensively? During his 4 monts of 2006 he was nearly 10 plays better than expected again using Pinto’s PMR. That means he would save about 12 runs defensively over the course of a season.

So even an offensively inept Shelton would produce 73 runs for the team while Sean Casey returning to his career norms would contribute 74 runs. For all intents and purposes this is a push. And here’s the kicker, Shelton costs 1/10th of what Casey will cost next year. So really-bad Shelton is still as good as back-to-normal Casey at a fraction of the cost.

Notes and References

Career stats came from Baseball Reference. I also leaned heavily on David Pinto’s work at Baseball Musings not only for the defensive stats, but for the Day by Day Database to break down Shelton’s stats. Lee’s expertise from Tiger Tales was also very helpful.

The very brief explanation of PMR is that it looks at the handedness or the batter & pitcher, the park, the type of balls that are hit, where they are hit, and how hard they are hit. It then looks at what happened to see how often the various types of balls are turned into outs. It then applies that model to the balls hit to a particular fielder to see first how many outs they would be expected to make given what the rest of the league did, and then how many plays that fielder actually made.

One final note about defensive stats for first basemen. The stats cited only measure fielders performance on balls put in play by the batter. It doesn’t take into account their ability to handle throws from infielders so that is still a judgement call. It’s my estimation that Casey doesn’t bring anything extraordinary to the table in this regard and Shelton is adequate as well. I call this a push.

 
 

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Adam November 21, 2006 at 8:38 am

…Is that he runs like a mule. I know. But SOMEONE’s gotta cancel out all of Sheff’s bad juju.

Casey, while not being very good, is all about great juju.

Eric Jackson November 21, 2006 at 8:48 am

I’m glad to see Casey back.

I don’t think you can discount that he is a leader in the clubhouse. He also brings way more consistency than Shelton. I’d rather have Casey out there any day because I know pretty much what I’m going to get. Shelton lost out because of that, not only overall numbers.

Casey also puts another lefty there, one that can consistently hit lefties.

If there was someone available out there, sure I can see getting a slugger there over Casey but a suggestion to go with Shelton I find to be surprising.

I believe over the season we’ll see how much Casey truly brings to the ball club and that will be both in his statistics and leadership.

billfer November 21, 2006 at 9:06 am

As for the consistency part, I don’t think that’s an issue in the numbers I presented. I only looked at the worst of Shelton. Any inconsistency from that point on is a bonus.

As for knowing what you’re going to get, well I know what I’ll get from Neifi Perez also. It doesn’t mean I want him out there.

And in terms of clubhouse quality, Chris Shelton always seemed like a pretty good teammate. As for leadership, it seemed pretty clear that was Jim Leyland’s strong suit. The Tigers were much better last year without Casey being a leader. I’m not putting the 19-31 finish on him, but I’m not sure how much leadership actually matters.

Coach Jim November 21, 2006 at 10:21 am

Perspicacious

Pete G November 21, 2006 at 10:22 am

Don’t forget Sean was the only Tiger who consistently hit the ball on the barrel of the bat during the World Series. He did it on the biggest stage, against decent pitching. I know he was probabaly in a “groove” but he can help carry a team when he gets hot. I think Sean Shelton, (or Chris Casey if you will) could be a strong switch hitting first baseman.

Cameron in Singapore November 21, 2006 at 10:34 am

Wow Bilfer…Your arguments are persuasive. Previously I was ok with the Casey signing, now I’m against it. Thanks for depressing me. :)

strummer November 21, 2006 at 11:31 am

I have a couple issues with the math used above.

You are suggesting that 32 singles would translate into 24 runs over the course of a season – which equals a 4:3 single to run ratio. That doesn’t pass the sniff test.
The Tigers scored 822 runs last year. They had 1548 total hits, which is almost a 2:1 HIT to run ratio. And those 1548 hits include 294 doubles, 40 triples and 203 home runs – for 2531 total bases. Just a quick a dirty analysis for argument sake, a single would equal 1 base. So the Tigers last year had a 2531:822 (over 3:1) bases to run ratio (and this doesn’t even take into account walks, HBP, SB, etc). Therefore your suggestion that Casey’s 32 singles allowed constitute 24 runs doesn’t seem to jive, perhaps 32 singles equating 10 runs may be more likely (or even 15 if using the run factors).

Also, in the above analysis the run factor for a single was added to the run factor for an out. Logically, it can only be one or the other. The fact that a single was produced precludes the occurance of an out (i.e. the negative “out” factor is already built into the positive run factor for a single).

Having said that, Casey may not be an All-star for the Tigers, but I expect a rebound to previous standards. Given that he is a lefty, a seemingly good guy and came through in the World Series for the Tigers, I don’t have any issue with the contract. I certainly expect Shelton to be a part of the Tigers’ future, but I don’t expect him to significantly outproduce Casey in the short term (as I would expect, say, Infante to outproduce Perez). If Casey produces like his career average, the Tigers will get, at minimum, the same production from 1B that they did last year. While we would all like to see a upgrade to last year’s production from the position, the non-Casey options don’t seem very feasible.

Ryan S November 21, 2006 at 12:35 pm

I’m hoping that the silver lining in the Casey signing is that it’s an indication that JL and DD aren’t giving up on Shelton. If we landed a slugger at 1B (like Texiera) then Shelton would have to start getting comfy in his Toledo Mud Hen uniform (or start hoping for a trade). With Casey, you have to hope that if Shelton plays well in the spring, he makes the team and at minimum has a chance to platoon at 1B. If Leyland went with a strict lefty/righty platoon, I wonder what Bilfer’s numbers would look like for us at first? Of course the main thing I like about this scenario is that we’ve left our starting rotation in tact. I don’t think any upgrade at first (short of unavailable stars like Pujols or Howard) would be worth the loss of Bonderman.

Lee Panas November 21, 2006 at 12:47 pm

Strummer, I didn’t catch it the first time I read it but I think you are right. The single value and out value should not be added. So let’s do the math again but less conservatively this time. Extrapolate Casey’s missed plays to 32. Say 25 of them resulted in singles (a run value of .47) and 7 resulted in doubles (run value of .75). That comes out to 17 runs. Then 98-17=81

Now, extrapolating for Shelton, he made 15 plays more than expected. Let’s say he saved 11 singles and 4 doubles. That is 8 runs. Then 62+8=70. So Casey would have an 11 run edge over the course of the season. Still not much of an edge considering we are looking at an expected season for Casey and a worse case scenario for Shelton.

Let’s do the anslysis again assuming Casey hits as he did last year and Casey hits as he did in May-July (worst case scenario again) Casey created 51 runs last year. Extrapolate to 600 PA and you get 70 runs created. 70-17=53. In this scenario, Shelton outperforms him 70 to 53 or by 17 runs.

Lee Panas November 21, 2006 at 1:21 pm

Getting away from the math for a moment, I don’t see Casey reaching his career averages in 2007. He had a number of injuries last year and looks very out of shape. I’m expecting more of the same next year. The only advantage I see over Shelton is that Casey is left-handed. Given a full season, I would expect Shelton to outperform Casey offensively next year.

As for character issues, I agree with Billfer that Shelton also seems like a good teammate. I don’t know about Casey’s leadership skills but it seems to me that they already have enough leaders incluing their manager.

What I think will happen is that Casey will get hurt and that Shelton will get a lot of at bats. What I hope will happen is that Shelton bounces back and becomes a solid regular by the end of the season.

Adam November 21, 2006 at 1:46 pm

Won’t happen. I don’t see Casey getting hurt – how’s that going to happen? He’s not diving for balls. Or he shouldn’t be. And unless his leg snaps again on a hit, I don’t see him getting hurt.

The guy’s only 32.

Lee Panas November 21, 2006 at 1:50 pm

Casey had back problems and muscle pulls last year. Those are classic old age injuries. 32 is old when you are not in shape and trying to play professional baseball on a daily basis. I don’t expect him to necessarily get seriously injured but I think we’ll see late career Bobby Higginson type injuries where he frequently misses time with various muscle pulls.

EZ November 21, 2006 at 2:02 pm

Range factor is the single most used and useless stat used today. Range factor is used by Inge apologists who try to wash away his marginal defense by saying “he ranges to balls that other fielders can’t get”. Yet, range factor does not take into account balls Inge “ranges” to and then misplays. These are scored as hits. This is fine provided Inge did not cut in front of the shortstop who would have normally made the play (off the top of my head Inge had no less than 6 such ‘hits’ scored on his behalf). Range Factor also does not take into account errant throws. Why does this matter in the Casey debate? Because Casey is a phenominal receiver. You want to call Casey and Shelton’s receiving skills a wash and focus, once again, only on “Range”. By far, and this is 20 years of playing first base talking, a 1st sacker makes more saving plays by fishing out bad throws than diving for a shot up the line. Considering Guillen and Inge combined for something in the neighborhood of 45 errors from that side of the infield, I don’t give a hang about an occasional hit that might squeek past Casey if I know he can retrieve all of the bad throws Inge (and Carlos) are throwing his way. Darling Brandon would have had over 30 errors this year without Shelton and Casey making great plays in the dirt on Inge’s Scud Missle throws. I consider “range factor” to be almost useless when discusing Inge at 3rd base. “Range Factor” is useless when discussing 1st base. First and foremost a 1st basemen needs to scoop and stretch. That is how he prevents runs. Instant proof of this was Sheffield playing 1st base for the Yankees in the playoffs. Not being able to scoop a ball lead to a huge Detroit inning.

Jeff M November 21, 2006 at 2:18 pm

So Casey would have an 11 run edge over the course of the season. Still not much of an edge considering we are looking at an expected season for Casey and a worse case scenario for Shelton.

What are Shelton’s defensive numbers for previous years? If we’re truly doing a worst-case scenario for Shelton, we have to consider the possibility of defensive regression.

Jeff M November 21, 2006 at 2:21 pm

EZ makes a good point. Is there a way to measure a firstbaseman’s ability to “stretch and scoop”?

Dave T. November 21, 2006 at 2:26 pm

What would the bench look like with a Shelton Casey platoon? I don’t want to see Neifi losing at bats over this!

Lee Panas November 21, 2006 at 3:05 pm

Jeff, I don’t think Shelton had enough innings to qualify for PMR last year. It’s certainly possible that PMR overrates Shelton’s defense. You could assume that Shelton will do worse defensively next year. At the same time, you could assume that Casey will continue to struggle as he did last year and fail to be a league average first baseman offensively.

Bob S. November 21, 2006 at 3:17 pm

I think it’s unrealistic to expect the type of season out of Casey that he had in 2005,let alone earlier in his career.He looks like the kind of player who is going to age fast.As pointed out,his injuries are likely related to his age coupled with poor conditioning-it’s pretty uncommon to pull a calf muscle swinging at a pitch outside of over-50 softball leagues.
If Shelton can show up swinging anything more than a curtain rod this year,platooning him with Casey might help both of them,by resting Casey and reducing Shelton’s exposure.
Another platoon option is Guillen/Casey,with Santiago and his superior defense or Infante at short.Shelton’s presence in the line-up could help to compensate for Santiago’s weak bat(I’m assuming the plan is to rotate Shelton and Ordonez between RF/DH).With some luck,Perez will mistakenly get on a plane north from spring training that flies through the Bermuda Triangle and become an X-File.
Those are interesting points about scoop and stretch vs. range.Where would you rank throwing to second on the double play in a first baseman’s skill set?That’s also probably the play where range and agility are most important at 1B.

Kurt November 21, 2006 at 3:33 pm

While OPS and OPS+ and others are good stats, I think it’s important to remember that scoring runs is still a pretty important part of the game. (I know, no one said it wasn’t!)

So I looked back at a stat that I like — especially after watching so many stranded runners by an all-or-nothing lineup like Detroit’s — RBI%.

Rather than count up the number of RBIs a guy has, it’s just the percent of runners on base who are driven in. Over the past few years, Casey has been near the top of every team. Strangely, that 2005 year is actually the year he had a dropoff.

RBI%
Year/ team / % of runners scored from 2nd / From 3rd / Overall / team rank

2006 Tigers – 20.8 / 40 / 19.2 / 1st (in 200 abs)
2006 Pirates – 10.9 / 69.6 / 16.5% / 3rd
2005 Reds – 19 / 35 / 13 / 11th or 12th
2004 Reds – 19.5 / 47.9 / 19.3 / 1st
2003 Reds – 24.8 / 43.8 / 16.8 / 3rd

So my take is, Dombrowski wanted Casey in the lineup not just because he is a left-handed batter, but because he brings a different style of game than the typical Tigers. It’s just part of diversifying the lineup. My original take was that he brings a Polanco-style bat to the lower half of the lineup, providing balance. He used to see a fair amount of pitches but that seemed to fall off when he put on the D. But he can put the ball in play and get some runners in. That’s pretty valuable regardless.

Kurt November 21, 2006 at 3:42 pm

Just to contrast, we do remember Shelton as a rally killer. His RBI% numbers were:

2006 – 11.5 / 28.6 / 12.5
2005 – 18.3 / 41.9 / 16.2

In 2006, he was the worst among Tigers with ample opportunities, below Infante and Thames. Magglio, Polanco, Guillen and Monroe filled out the top five with Casey. In 2005, he was among the top. His 2005 numbers would put him in the upper third of 2006′s lineup.

I agree the part I like about the 1-year signing is that we know Shelton is a good batter who should be able to get his head on straight again, and hopefully be the starter again in 2008, if not 2007.

charlie November 21, 2006 at 6:26 pm

sean casey…wants to be a tiger…got a one year contract…anyone think he might get in shape this off season, perhaps lose 15-20 pounds and have a great year that he might turn into a longer term deal after 2007. it’s possible…many athletes do this when looking for a longer term deal.

Bob S. November 21, 2006 at 6:38 pm

Please substitute Sheffield for Shelton in paragraph 3 for my comment at 1517.

billfer November 21, 2006 at 9:14 pm

Strummer –

The run values I chose weren’t arbitrary. The numbers do come from research. As for the double counting, I can certainly see the confusion. If a batter steps to the plate and gets a hit, he gets a hit. If he makes an out he makes an out. In this case though, you are looking at what happens that isn’t expected. If a ball that should be an out ends up being a single, there is a cost to that.

It may help to think of it in base-run states. If there is nobody on and nobody out and batter x hits a ball that should be an out, and the defense exectues, the situation is then nobody on, one out. The result of the play is a negative run impact for the offense (or positive for the defense). If that out doesn’t get converted, not only is there now a player on first, there isn’t an out either.

I had some of this stuff in the back of my mind knowing that I’d seen it before but was too lazy to chase down the link last night. I’m building on work found here which built upon other work found here.

In fact the latter work has more complete formulas that include possibilities for extra base hits. Running these numbers through those formulas finds Casey to cost his team 30 runs over a full season with his glove while Shelton saves 11 runs.

billfer November 21, 2006 at 9:23 pm

EZ – I never once mentioned range factor the stat which is pretty old and pretty flawed in that it doesn’t account for context. It is more of a companion for fielding percentage than a replacement for it.

I’ll make a jump here and assume you’re talking about measurements of range in general and not the range factor statistic.

Measurements of range like zone rating or PMR take a look at how often a fielder converts a ball hit in their area into an out. I don’t know how that can be flawed because it does take into account errant throws and it does take into account balls misplayed into hits because the fielder receives credit for neither.

In terms of its usefulness in evaluating first basemen, I’d agree that it does fail to take into account the ability to take throws and i mentioned as much in the original post. I’d be more than willing to take a look at any numbers that show the quality of a 1b at taking throws. I don’t know of any so I have to fall back on what I observe. Even still, you can’t dismiss the fact that poor range can and will hurt a team. Shelton is far superior to Casey in this category and the numbers support this.

billfer November 21, 2006 at 9:25 pm

Kurt -

I do like the RBI% stat in that it provides context to a counting stat. What I don’t know is whether or not it is a skill. That’s not to say that Casey hasn’t been successful in this regard.

I do agree that he does provide contact skills to a lineup that is very strikeout prone and there is value in that.

billfer November 21, 2006 at 9:31 pm

Finally, and this is my last comment (maybe my post should have just been longer), it’s not that I dislike Casey and I don’t think it is an awful signing. It is short and for not a lot of money. My issue is that I expect Sean Casey to be a replacement level player, or darn close to it. Essentially the Tigers are spending $4 million they didn’t really need to spend. They can get comparable production from Chris Shelton, or Josh Phelps for that matter, or some other minor league free agent.

In terms of the free agent market the contract is a steal – but that isn’t the only way to get talent.

Lastly, I know there is this belief that if Casey struggles Shelton will be given a shot or some sort of platoon. But Leyland loves Casey. Casey hit 245/286/384 and still retained his spot in the lineup. I just can’t see a scenario short of injury where Casey hits bad enough to get taken out of the lineup.

Walewander November 21, 2006 at 10:07 pm

More on 1B defense – David Pinto’s Probablistic Model of Range numbers are up for 06. Of all players seeing significant time at 1B, Shelton is 9th, at 7.4 runs above average, and Casey is 43rd, 19 runs below average. The only two players ranked worse are Ryan Howard and Conor Jackson. Yes, even Giambi did better.

Walewander November 21, 2006 at 10:11 pm

Wow, maybe I should have read the post :)

Lee Panas November 21, 2006 at 11:35 pm

Billfer, I completely agree with you on Casey. I also think he will be close to replacement level and I fear Leyland will stick with him too long. I really hope I’m wrong.

Kyle J November 22, 2006 at 1:11 am

“I just can’t see a scenario short of injury where Casey hits bad enough to get taken out of the lineup.”

I’m not sure about that. If Shelton shows he’s got his head straight at the plate next spring, I think he’ll get a legitimate shot to start. I think Leyland played Casey down the stretch because (1) Shelton showed absolutely nothing when he came back up from Toledo and (2) he didn’t want to create a distraction during the playoff run by putting a guy in the lineup who was likely to have a bunch of demoralizing strikeouts on the chance he might turn things around.

Johnny November 22, 2006 at 4:03 am

Shelton is going to have to have a hell of a good spring just to make the team in 07. With Guillen and Polance being rather injury prone, I’m sure Leyland will keep 2 middle infielders- two of Infante, Santiago, or Perez.

Casey will be fine in the 7th spot, and will have many RBI opportunities with Sheffield and Guillen high OBP. Would much rather have Casey batting in those situations than Shelton. Chris was just horrible with men on base last year. Only an injury will keep him away from Toledo come April.

Coach Jim November 22, 2006 at 11:30 am

Didn’t I see Josh Phelps signed away with another team?

I agree with EZ that fielding range at 1B is a secondary skill to THE SCOOP. You know, recently we had a left-handed power hitter at 1B that may have been the best I’ve ever seen at the scoop. Carlos Pena is now in the Red Sox organization.

Mike F November 22, 2006 at 12:46 pm

Carlos Pena is now a free agent.

Jim McKee November 22, 2006 at 2:01 pm

You can make yourself bonkers worrying too much about stats.

Casey is a morale-booster. There’s no stat for that.

Adam November 22, 2006 at 3:33 pm

Anyone listen to his conference call? The guy’s still 18. And excited as hell about playing next year – I say he does a lot better.

Joey C. November 22, 2006 at 11:44 pm

Totally off-topic…

I read a Keith Law piece today just destroying the Dodgers for signing Juan Pierre to a 5 year $44 million deal. This is now two pieces in a row by Law that I actually agree with.

And if that made him crazy, imagine what he’s going to say about the 5 year, $50 mil deal the other team in LA just handed out to Gary Matthews Jr. ARE YOU FREAKING KIDDING ME?

The dude is going on 33 years old and has terrible offensive numbers for his career–save for last season which certainly looks like an anomaly to me. This guy hasn’t even been a full-time player for most of his career. Last season was his first in which he eclipsed 500 at bats. How is this guy making 10 million a year for 5 years?

Nice to see that MLB has lost all its reason again.

Bob S. November 23, 2006 at 12:36 pm

I had advocated that Gary Matthews Jr. would be a valuable addition for the Tigers in RF.Someone correctly pointed out his career year would inflate his value.Even with that being the case,I figured $6/$7 million x 3/4 years-not exactly break the bank money.$10 million x 5 years is madness.

Eric Jackson November 23, 2006 at 10:38 pm

Interesting rumor I saw over at a Reds blog: http://www.redreporter.com/story/2006/11/20/44846/211

That would be interesting if they were still looking for a big bat like Dunn. I have a hard time believing it could happen though.

fran November 23, 2006 at 11:07 pm

Ii think its great Casey is back, I love this guy. He is such a team player and is good for the team. Looking forward to 2007!

Kyle J November 24, 2006 at 9:48 pm

$50 million for Matthews. $100 million for Carlos Lee. $40 million (and the three prospects) for Sheffield is looking pretty reasonable.

Mike R November 25, 2006 at 5:53 am

Whether Casey is average or not, what other viable options were out there? Short of trading Bonderman for someone like an Adam Dunn or Mark Teixiera, I don’t think there was anyone available that’s that much better than Casey. Plus, it never hurts bringing back someone who in half a season became one of the most beloved Tigers on the roster.

Also, all the things about Shelton turning it around at the plate seem to be ringing like the things that were said about Carlos Pena — only Shelton’s worse with the glove than Pena. I’m not confident that Shelton will be anymore than a streaky hitter with high peaks and very low valleys.

And to those worrying about Casey’s weight, correct me if I’m wrong, but he’s been virtually the same body shape/weight his entire career.

We don’t need anything more from Casey than to pick the horrible throws from the left side of the infield and to be one of the two contact hitters on this team. And in this market paying $4 million for him has become virtually a steal.

Joey C. November 27, 2006 at 11:00 am

Mike and Kyle,

I think you both make really good points. And in the last week, as I look around the baseball landscape, I’ve come to appreciate the Sheffield/Casey moves quite a bit more.

I guess my only concern now is that we find a team to take Thames and Infante. They have value and it seems a waste to just leave them to languish on our bench. It certainly isn’t fair to them.

Eric Jackson November 27, 2006 at 11:53 am

I really don’t understand the concern for Thames and Infante. Detroit should put together the best starting list they can get and the best bench they can get. I think to many degree’s they’ve done that.

You look to trade those guys because you can get players who will have more of an impact. Not because it isn’t fair to them. I really don’t feel sorry a bit for Thames or Infante both who have had a number of years and many shots on different teams to be real producers.

Joey C. November 27, 2006 at 2:15 pm

You’re right. You don’t trade them because it isn’t fair to them. You trade them because you’re not using them properly and you can probably get something of value in return–be it picks or prospects. That’s why I said they have value…this implies that we’d get something worthwhile in return for players whose ability exceeds their current rolls.

Kyle J November 27, 2006 at 3:28 pm

At this point, I’m not sure there’s even room for Thames and Infante to languish on the bench. I assume they’ll carry 13 positional players to start the year. That’s four bench players. Wilson is one of them. Either Santiago or Perez has to included for defensive purposes. That leaves two spots. Maybe there’s room for Infante. But would you want Thames as your fourth outfielder? You’d have no speed whatsover to insert for Magglio defensively in a close game. And what if Shelton hits the ball in spring training. Doesn’t there have to be a spot for him?

(I’m thinking here more like Leyland would than how I would.)

I’ll be very surprised if either Thames or Infante are on the roster when spring training rolls around.

Dacow March 29, 2007 at 7:40 pm

Casey actually can receive throws quite well. He can dig em out and go after it pretty well. His range is very poor. Seeing him in Cincy all those years, he can have very good years in which I think he would be a better choice for Detroit, but he can have very poor years as well.

I ask you this, how do you think Shelton would have done in the Series? No comparison.

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