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Wednesday, July 23, 2008

Jorge Posada's Cranky Labarum

The Journal News' Peter Abraham has the play-by-play of Posada's injury right here.  Apparently the injury bug decided to absolutely decimate my team this year.  As many of you already know, Posada has now joined a long list of players (John Smoltz, Takashi Saito, etc) who have made this season one of the more difficult ones to manage in recent memory.

However, the Posada injury definitely puts Posada owners in a weird situation.  On the one hand, Posada has been told that he needs surgery, in fact... it's been recommended.  On the other hand, Posada wants to rest for about 10 days and try to come back as a 1B/DH.  Inside sources say that Posada's being pressured to come back by Yankees brass due to his huge contract.

However, I live in New York and, as a result, watch the YES Network and Yankee games on a near nightly basis.  I can put to rest the notion that Posada is being pressured to play by Steve Swindell or any of the Yankee Brass.  Posada is one of the most prideful baseball players in Major League Baseball and the only reason Posada is considering a comeback is because he loves playing the game.

Enough about Posada's pride.  Let's take a look at a few replacement players if Posada realizes that he can't hit either:

Chris Snyder (C, Diamondbacks) was incredible in the second half of 2007.  In 161 ABs, his OPS was .889.  He swatted 6 Homers and netted 31 RBI, while hitting to a tune of .292.  He's a forgotten man in fantasy leagues as he's been on the DL with a testicular fracture (I feel pain just typing that).  I would definitely give Snyder a scouting over the next few games while he re-wins the starting job back from Miguel Montero.

According to MLBTradeRumors' Catcher Market, the Yankees may be interested in Gerald Laird (C, Rangers) and Ronny Paulino (C, Pirates).  However, I think that the Yanks executing a deal for Rod Barajas (C, Blue Jays) or Greg Zaun (C, Blue Jays) is more realistic.  Both Blue Jay Catchers would serve as rent-a-players because they're both eligible for free agency at the end of the season (Barajas has a team option for 2009).  To me, both of those players aren't worth it unless they're streaking.

For this reason, Jose Molina (C, NYY)may end up being the best option for anyone who needs a Posada replacement this year.  The catcher position is so thin this season, that Molina may put up decent numbers for your fantasy team.  He's never been a full-time starter, but he's proven to be a doubles machine for the Yankees in 2008.  In the limited ABs over the past two years in the second half, Molina has actually put up better numbers than both Barajas and Zaun.  In 2006 he batted .273 with a .729 OPS.  In 2007 (his first season with the Yankees), it was more the same: .294 BA and a .738 OPS.

My official advice, for now, is to grab a guy like Molina or Barajas while you wait it out on Posada's decision sometime next week (when he's eligible to come off the DL).  While you're doing this, scout out Chris Snyder as the best possible heir to Posada's Catcher spot on your fantasy roster.

I just found this video of Brian Cashman talking about Posada's injury:

Seems kind of grim to me.  He's talking about how the "hitting hasn't been there" either.  As a Posada owner, I'm prepared for the worst...

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