Molina surgery Friday. Torn ligaments. Could miss 8-12 weeks.
— Derrick Goold (@dgoold) July 10, 2014
Obviously it’s a significant loss for both the Cardinals and fantasy owners. Where can we turn for a potential replacement? Let’s take a quick look at some potential options:
One-Catcher/Shallower Formats (Owned in less than 50% of CBS Leagues):
Travis d’Arnaud – New York Mets – 48% owned
He’s been hot since returning from the Minor Leagues, entering play hitting .259 with 2 HR, 6 RBI and 4 R in 27 AB in July. He is still striking out a lot, but he’s also hitting the ball hard and with obvious power. There’s a lot of concerns, given his consistent struggles in the Major Leagues, but there also is significant potential. He’s being moved up in the lineup (hitting fifth tonight), which only helps add to his potential appeal. You might as well ride him while he’s hot, and be prepared to move on if he hits a major slump again.
Jason Castro – Houston Astros – 47% owned
He’s banged up a bit right now, but reports are that it is not that serious. He has continued to show some power this season with 7 HR, but is hitting just .228 thanks to a 29.3% strikeout rate and .309 BABIP (which you could argue is slightly unlucky, given his 22.0% line drive rate). While he may not be a .270+ hitter, like he was a year ago, it’s easy to imagine him hitting for a better average moving forward. He’s a gamble, but the Astros are an improving time and Castro figures to be right in the middle of things.
Two-Catcher/Deeper Formats (Owned in less than 25% of CBS Leagues):
Alex Avila – Detroit Tigers – 17% owned
He’s hitting .226 with 6 HR, so the numbers aren’t vastly different than Castro’s. His line drive rate has been better, however, with a 26.9% mark (23.5% for his career). He also has been striking out a ton, with a 32.1% strikeout rate, though it’s been trending down as the season has progressed:
- April – 38.3%
- May – 33.0%
- June – 28.6%
- July – 25.0%
In other words, he should continue to improve and is well worth rolling the dice on if you are in need.
Sources – CBS Sports, Fangraphs, Minor League Central
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