Replacing Wilson Ramos

Talk about your run of bad luck…

Wilson Ramos signs with the Twins, forever to be blocked from a starting gig with Joe Mauer already in-house.  He gets traded to the Nationals who then decide that they’d rather have a marquee name like Ivan Rodriguez behind the plate.  So Ramos bides his time, earns more and more PT as the season progresses, and heads into the offseason, knowing that he will be the full-time catcher in 2012.

Over the winter, while playing ball  in his native Venezuela, Ramos is abducted at gunpoint and ends up surviving a 48-hour ordeal where he is ultimately found and rescued by authorities.  He finishes out the winter season, comes to spring training and continues his MLB career as the starting catcher for the Nationals.

Sounds harrowing, right?  But he made it through…

Then BAM!!!!!

As dumb luck would have it, while chasing down a passed ball/wild pitch, depending on who you want to blame, Ramos tears his ACL and is now out for the season.  You thought he had suffered enough prior to the start of this season and with that, plus his talent level, you decided that he would be a solid choice for your fantasy catcher this season.  Whoops!

So now you’re left to pick up the pieces and find yourself a new catcher off a waiver wire.  The good news is that replacement value at catcher for a guy like Ramos isn’t all that tough to find and there’s really only bad news if you play in a deep, two-catcher league.

In shallow, single catcher leagues, you probably have names like Russell Martin, Ryan Doumit and even J.P. Arencibia sitting on your waiver wire.  Any one of them will serve you well as a viable replacement.  Obviously, the deeper your league, the fewer options you have, so if you’re looking at names like Jason Castro or John Jaso, then why not just go for Jesus Flores who is now the primary backstop in Washington?

The tough part about judging Flores is that injuries have hampered his career so much that you don’t really have much data to go on.  He got waxed by Chase Utley during a collision at the plate in late 2008 and in 2009 he suffered a stress fracture in his shoulder that would later require surgery and knock him out for all of 2010.  The sample size we have to look at is fairly minimal, relatively speaking, so erring on the side of caution with respect to his potential ROS totals is probably best.

He’s shown some pop in his bat in the past so figuring for another 300-350 at-bats, 10 home runs probably isn’t so far-fetched.  The 25.0% strikeout rate will undoubtedly keep the average somewhere near the .250 range, but just those estimations, coupled with any remote potential to surpass expectations, and you’ve got a much better option than Castro or Jaso.  Again, you’re probably not going to pick up someone who will knock you 15 home runs with a .265-.270 average, so is Flores’ potential that far off from what any other Plan B catcher is going to give you?  Probably not.

It’s definitely a lousy situation to be in, to lose a player to a season-ending injury, but it’s not like you just lost Evan Longoria or even Victor Martinez.  It might take a little maneuvering of players in and out of your lineup until you find the right fit, but this is, by no means, an insurmountable loss.

 




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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

17 Responses to “Replacing Wilson Ramos”

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  1. fjs says:

    Martin, Doumit and Arencibia are all gone and I’m in a 1 catcher Yahoo league! But I found Nick Hundley. Is he a better option than Flores?

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    • Howard Bender says:

      I do like Hundely, but given how poorly he’s played so far, you might as well take a shot on Flores right now. If he doesn’t produce and Hundley begins to heat up, then make the switch.

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  2. Ace says:

    How about Saltalamacchia? I’d go for him before I got to the Jaso/Flores tier, and I don’t think 20 homers is out of the question this season. The average probably won’t be pretty, but that kind of pop in a solid lineup is nothing to sneeze at.

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    • fjs says:

      in my league someone has him too. I can’t believe they’ve scarfed up all the catchers. It’s a ONE CATCHER LEAGUE!

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    • Howard Bender says:

      I like Salty as well, but his power potential and press coming out of Boston puts him on far too many people’s radar. As fjs says, he’s also not available in his one-catcher league.

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  3. Robert Odden says:

    It seems the jump from R. Martin or Arencibia to R Castro is a big one. There are a lot of good options before you have to even consider thinking about possibly picking up Castro. Some of those options are listed above.

    Of course Flores got injured last night so he too is no longer an option.

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    • Howard Bender says:

      Not that it’s that big a jump because they both stink, but I was referring to Jason Castro of the Astros, not Ramon, who remains unsigned still.

      And it was actually Sandy Leon, the rookie call-up from Double-A who got his bell rung by Nick Hundley and was forced from the game. Flores is still around and even more entrenched as the primary catcher.

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      • kozilla says:

        I stand corrected on both accounts. You have identified what I was trying to say.

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  4. oilcanboy says:

    Wilin Rosario a suitable replacement? He looks to have comparable power and appears to be gradually gettng the bulk of the playing time.

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  5. oilcanboy says:

    Wilin Rosario a suitable replacement? He looks to have comparable power and appears to be gradually getting the bulk of the playing time.

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    • Howard Bender says:

      He’s so nice, you had to ask twice? Big fan of Rosario and yes, the power is comparable, even if he does grab less at-bats. If it’s a keeper league then he;s an even better option, but should serve as a suitable replacement if you lost Ramos.

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  6. Mario Mendoza of commenters says:

    I wonder what scouts say about Flores, since the stats are inconclusive.

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    • LHomonacionale says:

      The Nats fans at least think they’re close enough in value to argue over which would be more sensible to trade. The Nats have good depth at catching, it’s just injured down the line. Washington is getting real banged up this year, and now Flores will get regular at bats for the first time since he went down with a major injury a few seasons ago. Flores is a safe pick, as he’s certain to get ABs, but he also has the potential to fly under the radar as a major value.

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  7. grovebost1 says:

    Doumit or AJ Ellis?

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    • Howard Bender says:

      Ellis is playing great right now, but I think you have to take a healthy Doumit over him for the long haul.

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  8. LHomonacionale says:

    Maldonado, 33, was on his way to Columbus, Ohio, around 11 p.m. ET when he received word that he was promoted to the big leagues. At first, he thought his teammates were pulling a prank on him. But soon thereafter, one of his teammates showed him the video of Leon getting hurt. Maldonado then boarded a plane from Columbus at 7:30 a.m. on Tuesday and flew to Washington.

    “It’s crazy, what’s going on. My teammates [in Syracuse] were making fun of me, [telling me to leave] the catching gear all the time to make sure I don’t get hurt,” Maldonado joked.

    http://tinyurl.com/bwrvssp

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  9. B.A. Barajas says:

    i’m in a 14 team NL only league. I picked up Flores, but Rod Barajas is languishing on the wire. Is he worth a damn anymore?

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