Wednesday, March 26, 2008

Jarrod Saltalamacchia to AAA: Fantasy Impact


In a move that was not a huge surprise Gerald Laird beat out Jarrod Saltalamacchia for the Texas Rangers starting catchers job. In what many could call a surprise move, Salty was then optioned to AAA. The Rangers could, for the first time in a while, struggle to score runs and a player like Salty could have been the type of bat that does make a difference in the middle of that line up.

Going into camp, Salty was in an impossible situation. The Rangers want him to catch, but they already have Laird behind the dish who threw 40% of would be basestealers last season. The Rangers could also put Salty at firstbase, but they want him to catch. The Rangers might also have a spot in the DH hole, but they already have Jason Botts to occupy that spot and for Botts its time to show he belongs in the majors, and this could be his last chance to impress.

Laird could be an interesting name here as a sleeper at catcher. Up until last season, he could handle the bat a bit and actually do some some stuff (for a catcher) on the basepaths. Perhaps after a full season of catching on the major league level he now has a better idea of what to expect and how to prepare for the rigors of a major league season.

FANTASY IMPACT

Hold off on drafting Salty for right now. He might be worth stashing on the bench in deeper leagues, as it is highly unlikely that he'll spend that much time in AAA. At some point in time the Rangers have to realize Ben Broussard is their starting firstbaseman, and they have a collection of aging AAAA players crowing spots in their entire outfield and DH.

Keep a close on his AAA numbers, as Salty will have catcher eligibility when his eventually recalled. He has the definite potential to put up numbers similar to that of Brian McCann if he can the experience that goes along with consistent playing time.

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