ESPN.com's Eric Karabell, a fantasy guru, wrote on his blog on Thursday that Max Ramirez should get a shot at catcher for the Rangers now that Jarrod Saltalamacchia is on the disabled list. Some of his thoughts:
Frankly, I'm a bit surprised and, from a fantasy sense, disappointed that Ramirez didn't get the call. I realize that his catching abilities have been called into question, and his performance at Triple-A Oklahoma City in 2009 left a lot to be desired (.234 batting average, five home runs in 76 games), but the guy can hit. Ramirez was the prospect said to be included in the Mike Lowell trade in December, and it's possible the Boston Red Sox wouldn't have used him behind the plate, but as a right-handed hitting first baseman type. Remember back in the early-1990s when the Chicago Cubs had Hector Villanueva? OK, so I'm dating myself, but he couldn't catch either, but he had power. Ramirez reminds me a bit of him, but let's not presume he can't do better, either.
I'd like to see Ramirez get a chance. In 2008, over 69 games with Double-A Frisco, he bashed 17 home runs and hit .354, and I know people who thought he could have been last season's breakout version of Geovany Soto. Obviously, it didn't happen, but at 25, it's not too late, and one would think the Rangers want to see what they've got. Maybe they're assuming he's going to be traded at some point, this time for real. Regardless, while the catching position is not a strong one across fantasy baseball, the Rangers are one of those teams offering very little at this time. If Ramirez got a chance, maybe that would change.