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Catchers: Finishing Strong

Just three weeks left to go in the regular season and all that hard work you’ve done over the last five-plus months will have finally paid off, so long as you’re staying on top of things.  And that means making the tough decisions at the end of the year.  Let’s face it…we’ve got great players that just aren’t producing right now and you need to make sure you fill in the blanks with guys who are.  Our own Michael Barr wrote a piece discussing the idea of cutting Brian McCann and then there are guys like Alex Avila who should have been cut even longer ago.  Even Matt Wieters is struggling to keep his average over the Mendoza line for the last 30 days.  If it’s a keeper league, you’ll probably have to bite the bullet.  But if it’s a re-draft league, it’s time to cut the dead weight and get a catcher in there that can help.

Wilin Rosario, COL —  OK, so I know I’ve been yammering on about Rosario for most of this season, but given the fact that he’s owned in just 40-percent of Yahoo leagues and in even less than that in ESPN leagues, he’s obviously still an option for many of you.  Not only does he have five home runs with 15 runs scored and 15 RBI over the last 30 days, but he’s also batting .282 in that span. If you’re not rolling with a top five catcher right now and Rosario is still available in your league, you’re just giving up stats late in the season for no good reason.

Russell Martin, NYY — With such little amount of time left in the season, do you really think that adding Martin to your roster is going to destroy your batting average to the point where it’s going to cost you points?  Probably not.  But what he can do is give you a boost in the counting stats which will more than make up for any potential hit you think you may take from the .238 average he’s posted over the last 30 days. Ten runs scored, four home runs, 13 RBI and a pair of stolen bases, can easily help you overlook it.  He’s currently on a six-game hitting streak, cutting down his strikeout rate a bit, and while his BABIP isn’t stellar right now, it is on the upswing at just the right time. A 27-percent ownership rate in Yahoo leagues and just 6.1-percent in ESPN leagues means that there’s a real strong chance you can add him for nothing.

Kurt Suzuki, WAS — When Suzuki lost his job in Oakland, he landed on the scrap heap almost immediately. And when he landed in Washington, he was still so far out of people thoughts that he was barely considered for a pick-up outside of deep NL-only leagues by desperate owners.  But Suzuki has definitely turned things around recently.  After his just two home runs over the first four months of the season, Suzuki has four in the last 30 days, along with a .270 average, 10 runs scored and 15 RBI.  You’re looking at very few strikeouts, a decent walk rate, and he’s got the lion’s share of at-bats in a platoon with Jesus Flores. And best of all, he’s owned in less than 15% of all leagues which means he’s readily available.