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Catchers in the News

With the non-waiver trade deadline coming up tonight, the flurry of deals we’ve seen, the rash of injuries lately, not to mention your fantasy league’s trade deadline, it’s not easy to keep tabs on each and every player.  Sometimes things just fall through the cracks.  And since the catching position, all to often, goes unwatched and unnoticed unless you’re having blatant issues at the position, perhaps a general update piece will be helpful.

Here’s a quick look at some of the latest news and fantasy impact from the guys behind the dish…

Geovany Soto, TEX —  Owners of Soto were hoping a deal would help get him out of Chicago and into a new situation, as the change of scenery would hopefully do him some good.  Unfortunately, he’s landing in Texas and in a rather unfavorable situation for fantasy owners.  Basically, he’s fixin’ to be the new Yorvit Torrealba (who will likely be DFA’d) and that’s no helping anyone that has painfully stood by him throughout the season.  He’ll see less playing time as Mike Napoli’s back-up and the only thing we can hope for is another situation like last year where an injury pulls Michael Young back into the field on a regular basis, leaving Napoli to play first and DH while Soto gets the work behind the plate.  But as my granddaddy always used to say, you can sh*t in one hand and wish in the other and see which one fills up first.

Yasmani Grandal, SD —  He’s been rock solid for those that picked him up when he first arrived on the scene posting a .312/.349/.597 slash line with five home runs, five doubles and 15 RBI over a 24 game span.  His strikeout rate was solid and his ISO marks were outstanding.  But an oblique strain is going to put him on the shelf now and given how much pain he appeared to be in, it might be longer than the regular 15 days.  The Padres will likely bring back Nick Hundley, but have him split time with back-up John Baker.  It’s a lousy situation to have to be in right now as chances are, if you’ve been starting Grandal, you’re in either a fairly deep or two-catcher league and the waiver wire looks pretty disgusting  these days.

George Kottaras, OAK —  He’s on the move from Milwaukee to Oakland, but as it stands right now, the move is a lateral one for fantasy owners but with potential for some upside.  Upon making the deal, the A’s sent Derek Norris back down to Triple-A and have Kottaras slated to back-up Kurt Suzuki.  The feeling is that the A’s will roll with this tandem while they are sitting in contention for a playoff spot, but if they find themselves falling out of the race over the course of the next month, then they could deal Suzuki which could move Kottaras into more of a starting role as the season winds down.  It’s not much, but it’s actually a better situation than just sitting behind Jonathan Lucroy on the depth chart in Milwaukee.  At least with Oakland, he’s got the potential to slide past Suzuki for playing time if he gets hot.

J.P. Arencibia, TOR —  A fractured right hand and a potential six week recovery time basically puts him out for all bu tthe last two and a half weeks of the season.  Useless to anyone in a re-draft league?  Yup.  Maybe it’s wrong to say, but had this just happened a month earlier, maybe Travis d’Arnaud could have received a call-up and not hurt his knee down in the minors.  Ah well, nothing but wishful thinking there.  Now we’re stuck watching Jeff Mathis, in all his fantasy uselessness, get starts behind the dish for Toronto.

Carlos Ruiz, PHI —  Riding on the biggest wave of his career, things could be coming to an abrupt halt soon as Ruiz was diagnosed with plantar fascitis in his left foot.  The Phillies are hoping that a few days off here and there will do the trick, but if you remember when Chipper Jones was dealing with this a ways back, he ended up out a lot more than in and ultimately landed on the DL.  With the Phillies likely to be sellers over the next month, they’ll have no reason to keep running Ruiz out there and risk further injury.  It would be a terrible way to end such an outstanding season for both him and his fantasy owners.