Toby Hallís shoulder injury didnít lead SportsCenter that night, but it is the kind of injury that can hurt a fantasy owner in an AL-only league. Many fantasy players spent a buck on Hall, and with good reason -- he has some pop and was slated to receive at-bats against lefties.
Thatís all out the window now, as Hall could likely be done for the year. What should you do if you need a second catcher in an AL-only league? Here are a few names to consider.
Kottaras isnít worth much now, as heíll begin the year at Triple-A Pawtucket. There could be some value here later this season, though. Jason Varitek battled injury and ineffectiveness last season; thereís a chance his best days are behind him and heíll need more days off than usual. If thatís the case, backup Doug Mirabelli -- he of the sub-.200 batting average last year -- probably isnít the answer. The Sox could turn to Kottaras.
If they do, there is some intriguing skill here. Kottaras showed a fine batting eye (68/50 K/BB) and modicum of pop (eight home runs in 256 AB) last year at Double-A, though he struggled after a promotion to Triple-A. Expect Kottaras to perform better at Triple-A this year; he should be able to make the necessary adjustments now that heís gained some experience at that level. He should perform well enough to merit a call-up at some point, especially if Mirabelli is hitting .175.
Bob Geren indicated Melhuse will receive a few more at-bats this year, and the backstop does have a bit of power. Worth a flier if you need a catcher.
Phillips will receive some at-bats against lefties. He has a career .271/.347/.418 line against them, so he definitely has some value here in deep leagues if you use him right. Phillips also has some pop -- seven home runs in 249 at-bats last year in Triple-A -- so at least he isnít as bereft of power as many other backup catchers.
No power, but he does hit for a high average. And should Joe Mauerís stress reaction turn into something more severe, your $1 investment could turn into a starting catcher. A nice gamble here if youíre a Hall owner.