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Handcuffing Catchers

There’s a few catchers that fantasy baseball managers like having on their teams.  There’s Joe Mauer, Brian McCann, Victor Martinez, and Buster Posey.  Then, there’s a few guys that are OK to have on your team as well like Carlos Santana, but for the most part, catcher is not a very deep position.  And, the only thing worse than a catcher that doesn’t hit much is a backup catcher that doesn’t play much or hit much at all.

Rob Johnson Padres

Now that he'll be playing every day, we expect the Padres' Rob Johnson to get the hang of putting on his equipment.

In fantasy football, there is a concept called “handcuffing” and no we are not talking about NFL players that have broken the law.  Handcuffing in fantasy football is the process of drafting a team’s backup along with the starter at the same position.  This is often done with injury prone positions in fantasy football such as running back or quarterback.

Does handcuffing make much sense in baseball?  Not at most positions, but in deep leagues, handcuffing is a good idea.  If you have to have a backup catcher on your squad, it’s a good idea to have two catchers on the same team.

Take the Padres for example.  If you have Nick Hundley on your team, you now have a player that is on the 15-day disabled list.  So, wouldn’t it be nice if you had Rob Johnson on your minor league roster?  Johnson is going to be the every day catcher with Hundley nursing a strained muscle on his right side.  Johnson’s new backup is Kyle Phillips who was just called up from Double-A San Antonio.  Phillips was hitting .316 with two homers and 15 RBIs in 19 games at San Antonio.

It might also make sense to use the fantasy football technique of handcuffing with closers, but it’s often not as clear cut as to whom is waiting in the wings to be the closer if the main 9th inning man blows too many.  But, with catchers, it’s kind of obvious.

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