Judging by the poll results from last week, it would appear that the Royals fanbase would like to see Ryan Shealy recalled from AAA Omaha. Here is how the results break down:
Which position player would you most like to see recalled from Omaha? (List compiled on 5/2)
Ryan Shealy: 10 votes (47%)
Tug Hulett: 3 (14%)
Kila Ka'aihue: 3 (14%)
Travis Metcalf: 1 (4%)
Chris Lubanski: 1 (4%)
Other: 3 (14%)
Yes, it's true. Through 25 games and 87 at-bats in AAA Omaha, he has now connected for a .345/.454/.425 clip. He is homerless, though, and we all know that if he is to provide some value as a pinch-hitter and part-time player (a compliment to the left-handed hitting DH/1B Mike Jacobs), he is going to need to hit for power. In his Minor League career, Shealy has a .302/.406/.615 line against lefties, with 23 home runs in 291 at-bats. He is, on the contrary, .296/.369/.510 against right-handers. In parts of his last four seasons, he has contributed for a net gain of three runs at first base.
Although his BABIP is insanely high this year (.484), his FB% does not correlate at all with his mere seven extra base hits (and zero home runs). It is 48.1%, so the HR output is flukishly low.
I'm not going to sugercoat it. Shealy needs to be on the 25-man roster above Luis Hernandez, who provides as nothing more than an excellent late-inning defensive replacement. Hernandez contributes negatively as an offensive player, and will likely do nothing to earn anything more than Sunday starts, even with a slumping Mike Aviles. Get Shealy on this roster, start him at first base against lefties (against whom Jacobs struggles immensely), and let him pinch hit late in games, in crucial situations or no.
Shealy has not played since Friday, May 8th, though. He has not yet been placed on the 7-Day Disabled List, though, so what's the deal? The Royals organization is notorious for keeping Minor League information secretive and withheld. Regardless, I think Shealy would be a formidable option at my stated positions on the big-league roster.
Question: Which players would fit in the 'other' category who one could argue would be worthy of a promotion? Tommy Murphy? Brayan Pena (again, and even more so assuming a DFA/release/trade of one of our existing two catchers)? Brian (Pitcher Fill-In) Buchanan? I'd love to know.