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Ryan Shealy

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With April finished, now is the time to begin looking at players' performances if only to get an idea of whose jobs are in danger.  Fantasy experts advise holding tight especially with proven players who are not performing up to expectations, but that advise loses some validity as MLB teams decide how to right the ship with less proven players.

The Royals' 1B Ryan Shealy is one such player.  He finished the inaugural month of the 2007 season hitting an atrocious .113/.186/.208 - 6-53 with one run scored, 3 walks and 19 strikeouts.  If that doesn't qualify for the Most Disappointing AL Player Award, it gets him in the competition.

Should he lose his job, though?  If he were a proven player, the answer would be, "No."  The answer would also come with the caveats that he has been successful over his brief major league career spanning the 2005 and 2006 seasons where he hit a combined .294/.359/.457 with 9 HRs in 293 ABs and that 53 ABs is too small a sample to draw conclusions on.

I tend towards that rationale, but, if you look for reasons to doubt Shealy's ability to recover, then you re-examine the move GM Dayton Moore made this past off-season when he inexplicably acquired a 30-year-old lefty hitting 1B, Ross Gload, from the White Sox for young lefty reliever Andy Sisco.  This assessment by Rotoworld sums-up the universal opinion on that move (and I concurred.):

Awful....Gload is a 30-year-old backup first baseman with little chance of being more than a useful pinch-hitter going forward. Sisco is a 24-year-old left-hander with terrific stuff who the Royals made the mistake of forcing into the bullpen. Players like Gload are available as minor league free agents every year. Players like Sisco become available only when you're lucky enough to catch a bad GM on the right day....

Now we see Ross Gload playing a much bigger part in the Royals 2007 plans than anyone would have imagined. (Or hoped for if you're a Royals fan!)  He opened 2007 by making Emil Brown an afterthought and has moved over to 1B amidst Shealy's inability to hit.  Could the Royals' management have seen something us fantasy players did not?  Was that why they dealt a 24-year-old power lefty reliever for Gload?

If so, should fantasy players wait out Shealy's struggles or cut bait and move on?