I thought about putting this into the game discussion, but it may generate enough discussion for its own diary, so here it is:
With Helton on the DL for at the minimum fifteen days, but possibly more, Shealy is getting quite the extended audition. While it takes time to adjust yourself to new environments in sports, Shealy has still put up a nice stat line. Obviously, AAA isn't enough for this guy, it is time he stays in the bigs. I know BP has comapred him to Travis Hafner, and watching both of them come through Tulsa, I couldn't disagree. So that said, could Helton be the guy out next season?
Before my head is handed to me, lets look at it for a second. PECOTA put up the following averages for each player at the start of this season:
Those numbers aren't too far off. Now, with Helton's gradual age decline, and Shealy destroying high minors pitching and suceeding in the pros, I'd expect those numbers to draw closer to each other next season. There current averages are:
Helton is an icon, but being saddled with such a heavy contract may be too big a burden for the team if it becomes competitive in 2008 and needs finances to pick up the missing pieces in the off season. We've seen Helton's best years, but have yet to see Shealy's.
At this point, I'm inclined to say, that it may be time to eat a portion of
Helton's salary in order to play Shealy. Plus, the return of a Helton trade with part of his contract eaten could bring in several key pieces to the young team. You don't think the Mets would jump at Helton while throwing in Lastings Milledge? It's worth discussing...