It has been a nightmare season for catchers. Buster Posey’s the latest to get hurt, completing the injury trifecta for three of the league’s top catchers. With all these catchers doing time on the DL and the sub-Mendoza starts from Jorge Posada and Mike Napoli, the position is as thin as ever. Before we address Posey, lets check in on the status of the other banged up guys behind the plate.
Joe Mauer’s back on the diamond, continuing his rehab with an extended spring training game Wednesday. The Twins are being especially careful with their franchise player, so don’t expect him back in the majors until he’s confirmed 100%. Manager Ron Gardenhire explicitly stated that we won’t be seeing Mauer in the bigs until he’s able to squat behind the plate every day, but the fact that he’s getting live at-bats is cause for optimism. There’s no confirmed timetable yet, but a June return appears probable. The Twins are going to need him to salvage anything from their disastrous season. They remain at the bottom of the AL Central, a whopping 14.5 games behind first place Cleveland.
Geovany Soto is still on the DL with a strained groin. He’s caught a couple extended spring training games and made his first appearance in Double-A Thursday. Barring a setback, the Cubs plans on activating him on Saturday.
And now for the main event.
Buster Posey – (15 day DL – broken leg)
Posey’s injury was gruesome. Marlins backup outfielder Scott Cousins barreled into Posey at home plate in the top of the 12th inning, and if you were watching, you probably gasped. Legs aren’t supposed to bend that way. From the moment of the collision, things looked dire for Posey’s season. After he was properly analyzed, the situation didn’t look at better.
Posey has a fractured left fibula and three torn ligaments in his left ankle. The Giants placed him on the 15-day DL while they figure out what to do with him. There’s no word on whether or not Posey’s season is officially over or not, but the initial diagnosis leaves little room for hope.
H2H Posey owners should wait a couple days for a status update before dropping the kid, just in case the medical staff knows something that we don’t. If he can be back in time for a stretch in September, he might be worth holding for a playoff run. But don’t get your hopes up, since the signs are saying that this is likely season-ending for the All-Star.
The Giants aren’t necessarily doomed — Posey’s still just one guy — but boy, this one has got to hurt for the fans. It’s a gut-punch for Posey’s fantasy owners too, but likely a softer one.
What does that mean? It’s yet another week to look at waiver wire catchers. Let’s see what we’ve got this time.
- Ramon Hernandez (30% owned) – If you predicted during Spring Training that Hernandez would be batting .327 nearly two months into the season, people would call you crazy. The vet’s been swinging the bat as efficiently as any this year, and has contributed decent power numbers as well. Hernandez has never kept his average above .300 for a whole season, so don’t expect him to keep this up, but he’s certainly worth a look.
- Chris Iannetta (23% owned) – Iannetta’s disappointed so far this year, but the upside is still there. He was dealing with a back injury in April but appears to be at full strength now. The problem? His bat’s still lying dormant. Iannetta’s now struck out 38 times in just 116 ABs.
- Carlos Ruiz (25% owned) – Ruiz has more hits in his last two games (five) than his previous 18 (four). Like Iannetta, Ruiz had a strained back that was bothering him last month but looks fine now. The power upside for Ruiz is non-existent, but he has the advantage of hitting at the tail end of a beefy lineup in Philly, so 50 RBIs is still a possibility.
Other mixed league options: Jarrod Saltalamacchia (10% owned), AJ Pierzynski (14% owned), Ryan Doumit (15% owned), Miguel Olivo (8% owned).
Deep league potshot: Ryan Hanigan (3% owned).
Kim writes for Business Insider's sports page and runs a sports business blog at Spizness.com while attending NYU as a graduate student in Business and Economic Reporting. Catch up with him at the Cafe as Kim Bhasin, and follow him on Twitter (@KimBhasin).
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