Catchers: One Up, One Down

I’ve received a number of emails over the past two weeks asking about players to either pick up or drop and two catchers who have been the most asked about are Evan Gattis and Ryan Doumit. Each seem to be moving in opposite directions right now, but rather than just keep it limited to personal responses, let’s address each player here so that the public can get involved.

Evan Gattis, ATL — It was quite the ride to open the season as Gattis was both impressive and helpful on the power front as he took over full-time responsibilities in Atlanta with Brian McCann injured. The six home runs and 16 RBI were ranked amongst the top producers at the position and even though the batting average was, well….average, he proved to be an outstanding value as no one spent much to acquire his services in the first place. But here now in May, things have grown stagnant. He’s basically maintaining a .250-ish average now but with just one home run in his last 12 games and nine strikeouts over his last five, it doesn’t appear as if we’re looking towards a peak as we try to exit this current valley. On top of that, McCann is due back and while Gattis was supposed to move to the outfield on a temporary basis, that plan might be nixed before it even starts as the word on the street puts Jason Heyward back with Atlanta ahead of schedule. If you’re playing in a re-draft league, it’s probably time to let Gattis go. I would hang onto him for a little while while McCann adjusts back to life in the bigs, but with his playing time headed south, he’s just not going to be worthy of a roster spot. Keeper league owners, however, might want to hold him if they have a place to stash. McCann is a free agent at the end of the year and should he not perform up to task, the Braves could certainly let him walk and move Gattis into a starting role. That’s obviously pretty far down the road, but if there’s room to do it on the your bench, then I would tuck him away.

Ryan Doumit, MIN — If you’re struggling for production from behind the dish and a frustrated owner dumped Doumit in your league, it’s time to pick him up. After a dismal first month that saw him hit just .194 with six RBI and 21.6-percent strikeout rate, the Minnesota backstop/outfielder/designated hitter has really turned it back on, batting .394 with two home runs and five RBI over his last six games here in May.He’s obviously not going to keep up such a torrid pace, but even when his production starts to level off and he drifts closer to his career averages, he’s still going to be plenty productive. But Doumit’s ability to hit was never really in question here as much as it was about a loss of playing time. With the emergence of Oswaldo Arcia and the number of rain-outs that have allowed Joe Mauer to play more regularly behind the plate, Doumit had to adjust to less frequent playing time. But with Chris Pamelee slumping big-time and with Doumit heating up, Arcia seems to be a better fit in right field now which could be where Ron Gardenhire leaves him a little more often. Couple that with the fact that Mauer is going to need more time off as the season progresses and Doumit should see a solid increase in his time in the lineup. With his position flexibility, he should ultimately see roughly the same number of at-bats as most starting catchers and should prove to be a valuable asset in your fantasy lineup.

 



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Howard Bender has been covering fantasy sports for over 10 years on a variety of websites. In addition to his work here, you can also find him at his site, RotobuzzGuy.com, Fantasy Alarm, RotoWire and Mock Draft Central. Follow him on Twitter at @rotobuzzguy or for more direct questions or comments, email him at rotobuzzguy@gmail.com


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Andrew
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Andrew

I’ve enjoyed the ride thus far as a Gattis owner, but it seems to be nearing an end. I’m in a 10 Team Keeper League, and D’Arnaud has just been put on the Block — worth pursuing a swap? I also have Zunino stashed on my bench.

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