As if the Red Sox didn’t have enough injury issues with Josh Beckett, Dustin Pedroia, and basically their entire outfield on the disabled list, they lost Victor Martinez to a fractured thumb over the weekend. A top tier fantasy catcher is impossible to replace, so hopefully he’ll be back after the required 15 days and all you V-Mart owners won’t have to suffer too long.
In the meantime, here’s a few backstops you can find on the waiver wire to help keep your head above water, starting with Martinez’s replacement…
Jason Varitek | Red Sox | 6% owned
Varitek has a very strange stat line this season. He has only 23 hits in 98 PA (.258 AVG), but he’s got seven homers and a .303 ISO. Those seven bombs come with only 14 RBI too. Yeah, it’s just small sample size noise, but it’s still kinda funny. (R) ZiPS projects a .227 AVG with a .178 ISO, and realistically that’s about the best you can hope for out of Varitek for the next two weeks or so.
Ronny Paulino | Marlins | 16%
Very quietly, Paulino has posted a respectable .343 wOBA this season, though he’s hit .322/.373/.435 in his last 126 plate appearances. He’s an absolute horse behind the dish, perhaps to the point that you have to worry about him turning into a pumpkin in the second half. Paulino’s started the team’s last 19 (!!!) games, though he did have the benefit of three off days during that stretch. (R) ZiPS sees a regression back to .274/.332/.397 the rest of the way, but at least he won’t kill you in AVG during V-Mart’s absence.
John Jaso | Rays | 6%
Tampa has been platooning Jaso with Kelly Shoppach ever since they decided to send Dioner Navarro to the minors, and six of Tampa’s next seven games come against righthanded pitchers. Jaso is a must own in OBP leagues (.398 OBP), but his .271 AVG and 25 RBI still have value elsewhere. I’m a sucker for guys who walk more than they strikeout, though (R) ZiPS seems him falling to .269/.354/.368 the rest of the way.
Ownership rates based on Yahoo! leagues.