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Backstop Ramon Hernandez was placed on the 15-day disabled list Friday with a strained left hand. FOXSports.com reports that Hernandez was having problems gripping his bat properly the last several days due to the strain, forcing the Rockies to deactivate him.
Hernandez's hand injury could have been to blame for his .040 average (1-for-25) in his last eight games. Regardless, this 36-year-old catcher is nearing the end of his career, and he's hitting just .215 with four home runs and 15 RBIs in 27 games on the year. While Hernandez has displayed solid contact rates, his fly-ball and ground-ball tendencies aren't very appetizing.
He still has the potential to hit 10-plus home runs - especially at Coors Field - but that might be a stretch this year. The hand injury may sap his power, and it's unclear how long it will affect him. Expect him to continue to receive semi-regular PT when he returns, but he should only be considered ownable in leagues that start two catchers.
Wilin Rosario, 23, was already seeing consistent playing time to spell Hernandez. He'll now receive a chance to prove that he deserves even more duty when Hernandez returns. Rosario's strong defense behind the dish will continue to endear him to manager Jim Tracy, and his power is a welcome sight in the thin air of Colorado.
Rosario's major Achilles' heels are his strikeouts and extremely poor walk rate (3.8 percent). Those aspects and his poor contact numbers spell trouble in the immediate future for his batting average, which sits at .205 in 78 plate appearances.
The six home runs, however, point to the kind of power he can supply in NL-only leagues. The pop is undoubtedly there, and his upside is high as a full-time starter. He's worth a look in deep mixed systems that employ two backstops if you're willing to take the hit in BA.
Wil Nieves (.299/.330/448 in 98 plate appearances with Triple-A Colorado Springs) was brought up to back up Rosario in the short term. He shouldn't be looked at unless you're in desperate need of catcher at-bats in NL leagues.
About Keith Hernandez
Keith, an editor with KFFL, joined the team as a Hot off the Wire analyst in 2008 and has been playing fantasy sports since 2005. He is involved in MLB, NFL and NASCAR content. He graduated from the University of California-San Diego in 2005 with a B.A. in Communications and was a four-year starter as a member of the baseball program.
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