Shealy Escapes Helton, Joins Royals

In a swap of blocked prospects and frustrating ones, new Royals general manager Dayton Moore’s wheeling and dealing continued Monday. The Rockies acquired Ryan Shealy and Scott Dohmann from the Rockies for bullpen help Jeremy Affeldt and Denny Bautista.

Shealy, 26, earned a reputation as one of the minors’ most vaunted sluggers but couldn’t earn any playing time in Colorado with Todd Helton signed through 2011. An 11th-round pick from Florida in 2002, Shealy is a born DH who’s limited at first base and quickly showed that an experiment in the outfield wouldn’t work out. But he can do damage at the plate, batting .319 with 103 homers in 455 minor league games. Playing at Triple-A Colorado Springs this season, he hit .284/.351/.568 with 15 homers and 55 RBIs in 58 games. In 100 at-bats with the Rockies the last two years, he has hit .320/.398/.470 with two homers and 17 RBIs. He appeared headed to the Red Sox in a deadline deal last July until Boston’s upper management reneged on the trade. Unless the Royals trade Mike Sweeney, Shealy’s presence may mean that prospect Justin Huber will have a difficult time cracking Kansas City’s lineup.

Affeldt, a 27-year-old lefthander, has failed to live up to expectations since going 7-6, 3.93 as a swingman in 2003. His ERA has risen each season since: 4.95, 5.26 and 5.91 this season. He has pitched better out of the bullpen this season, however, with a 2.96 ERA in 18 relief appearances. Overall, he’s 4-6 in 27 appearances, with an awful 28-42 K-BB ratio, .262 opponent average and nine homers allowed in 70 innings. Affeldt needs to trust his stuff more and throw more strikes, as his low- to mid-90s fastball and occasionally devastating curveball should be plenty good enough to succeed. He’s making $1 million this year and will be arbitration-eligible in the offseason before becoming a free agent after 2007. He has a career record of 17-22, 4.77 in 184 outings.

Bautista, a 25-year-old righty, has a similarly strong arm and even less of a track record of major league success. The Royals demoted him to Triple-A Omaha in early June after he went 0-2, 5.66 in eight games (seven starts). Bautista, who went on the disabled list in April with a strained pectoral muscle, had a 22-17 K-BB ratio, .277 opponent average and five homers allowed in 35 innings. It’s hard to give up on a pitcher with a mid-90s fastball and a 6-foot-5 frame, but he continues to be haunted by a lack of command and control. In 22 big league games, he has a career mark of 2-8, 6.55.

Dohmann, a 28-year-old righty, had a 4.11 ERA as a rookie two years ago but hasn’t replicated that success since. He went 1-1, 6.20 with one save in 27 games in two big league stints this year, and he was pitching at Triple-A Colorado Springs at the time of the trade. He had a 22-15 K-BB ratio in 25 innings, while opponents were batting .277 with four homers against him. Dohmann has a low-90s fastball and a hard slider, but he’s not effective when he can’t command the strike zone. His career big league record is 3-5, 5.22 with one save in 100 outings.

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