Welcome back to the penultimate 2017 Catchers to Stream article! It’s either semifinal or championship week for most everyone and at this point, I’m not excited by low-floor options. For the most part, if a guy is not listed below, he’s either above my 50%-owned barrier, or his floor is just way too low to roll with this week. You’ll see many familiar names because I can’t trust most guys with a championship on the line. If none of the below names are available, none better than them, and you have a limit on pickups, I’d probably say you should stream pitchers instead. All of the lower-tier catchers are too much of a dart throw for me to stand behind this week. As always, I look forward to answering your questions!
Let’s recap last week:
Wilson Ramos (Tampa Bay Rays)– 5/16, 2 HR, 3 RBIs. And you continue to question him! Shun the non-believers!! He’s been very solid since switching up his swing and you’ve gotta continue to roll with him in the playoffs.
Robinson Chirinos (Texas Rangers) – 4/18, 1 RBI. You had to know he’d come down at some point, but now is not the time you wanted it to happen. I’m still rolling with him because of what I said below and the fact that he’s stronger than most any catcher at this tier.
Travis d’Arnaud (New York Mets) – 2/9, HR, 2 RBIs. The HR helped… the rest did not. d’Arnaud is not your savior but can get you through a bad week when his matchups are right.
Christian Vazquez (Boston Red Sox)– 6/16, HR, 3 RBIs. Atta boy. The playing time divide doesn’t favor him as well this week (should get no more than 4 starts), but he’s still a high upside roll of the dice.
Martin Maldonado (Los Angeles Angels)- 2/15, 8 Ks. This is the downside with Maldonado. He plays all the time, but that doesn’t make him good. He’s a Hail Mary play at best.
On to this week’s recommendations:
Robinson Chirinos (Texas Rangers)– Despite stumbling last week, he’s still raking against left handers and he’s got 2 this coming week. Now is not the time to take drastic risks and he’s been producing fairly regularly. After a Monday off day, he gets the Mariners (Mike Leake, Felix Hernandez, and James Paxton) followed by the A’s (Kendall Graveman, Sean Manaea, Jharel Cotton). I don’t see the Rangers being overly cautious with Chirinos down the stretch, as he doesn’t scream “franchise catcher”, but it’s not like they have a star waiting in the wings. If they did, they probably would’ve traded him away already.
Wilson Ramos (Tampa Bay Rays)– The guy keeps producing and I want stable hitters in my playoff matchups. He gets an off day Monday, then gets the Cubbies (Jon Lester and John Lackey) and the Orioles (Gabriel Ynoa, Jeremy Hellickson, Ubaldo Jimenez, and Dylan Bundy).
Tyler Flowers (Atlanta Braves)- As we discussed at the Pitcherlist meetup yesterday, Flowers has quietly been one of the better catchers this season and that’s exactly what I want in the playoffs. He starts the week with an off day, then gets the Nats (Gio Gonzalez, Max Scherzer, and Tanner Roark) followed by the Phils (Ben Lively, Henderson Alvarez, and Nick Pivetta). Scherzer is an imposing name on the docket, but the rest of the week is incredibly light and doesn’t worry me (Gio, I’m looking at you. Now is not the time to continue defying your FIP/xFIP).
If you need a desperation play, you can roll with: