Betting on Barajas

Injuries are the bane of every General Manager’s life, whether it’s a GM of a real team or a fantasy version.

Carlos Santana’s concussion was definitely not what my BaseballGB fantasy team needed.

If Santana is only out for seven days then that wouldn’t be too disastrous, but I had a bad feeling he might get moved onto the 15 day DL in due course, leaving me lamenting my inaction. My Cheddar Chasers are on a bit of a roll at the moment and I didn’t want to leave a hole in my lineup for too long.

With no other catching options on my roster, and no obvious trade candidates on my competitors’ teams, I treaded nervously into the free agent pool and tried to find someone who is likely to start consistently over the next week or so and might just offer a bit of help with the bat.

I ended up with Rod Barajas.

In Sam Walker’s book Fantasyland, Rod Barajas is something of an ‘in’ joke in the expert league that Walker had angled his way on to. When the participants met at a hotel the night before the league draft auction, Barajas’ name was mentioned as a conversation starter, being picked as the type of player that only fantasy nuts would pay any attention to.

Barajas’ career has moved on a bit since that draft in 2004, and he is a slightly more recognisable name now, but he’s still not exactly a blue-chip addition, hence why he was sitting there available to be taken for absolutely nothing. My main concern is that the draining effect he could have on my batting average and OPS might negate any additions to the counting stats (Runs, Home Runs and RBIs, I’ll leave Stolen Bases out of this equation) and make me wonder if I would have been better off leaving the catcher position empty.

Reading that Barajas was 0-for-11 against Bronson Arroyo heading into the Reds-Pirates game on Monday didn’t help with my confidence levels, but he went 2-for-3 with an RBI as the Pirates beat the Reds 4-1. That’s a decent start for my team’s newest player.

As a good example of the sort of madness that fantasy baseball can cause, I’ll be studiously eyeing the boxscores over breakfast every morning, checking to see if Rod Barajas has inflicted any damage on the opposing pitchers or if it is my own team that he is torpedoing.

Stay tuned for further updates.

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