How to view Mauer, Ramos for fantasy 

May, 3, 2010
I benched Minnesota Twins catcher Joe Mauer in a weekly league this morning. It wasn't that painful, but the truth is I really don't know when Mauer, dealing with a sore heel, is going to play. I would have felt a bit better -- I'm all about the clarity -- had the Twins actually placed Mauer on the 15-day disabled list. Give him a few weeks off, and while it might turn into a longer stint, a la Jimmy Rollins, at least we know and can replace him with confidence. Instead, we get manager Ron Gardenhire saying this could be a week-to-week situation, rather than day-to-day. That's frustrating.

Gardenhire wants to play it safe with one of the top players in baseball, and I can't blame him. But this wishy-washy report can wreak havoc with fantasy decision-making, too. If those in weekly leagues thought there was any chance Mauer would play this week, they'd leave him active. He can do more in a game or two than all but about five catchers can in a week. Then again, I don't know for sure that Mauer will play again this month. Going week to week is an odd thing to say. As I wrote Friday about Kurt Suzuki of the Oakland Athletics, we want catchers healthy for the duration of the season, not only early May. Put Mauer on the DL and let the Twins, and everyone, move forward without him for now.

Wilson Ramos
AP Photo/Mark DuncanWilson Ramos' major league debut was a real hit for the Twins.
The Twins kind of moved forward Sunday by calling up enticing catcher prospect Wilson Ramos, and he had quite the debut, getting four hits against the Cleveland Indians. No catcher since 1900 had recorded four hits in his major league debut, and only 20 hitters of any sort had done so, so I'm guessing this will make Ramos pretty popular in fantasy leagues. Full disclosure, I had the chance -- multiple times, really -- to select Ramos in a dynasty league minor league draft a few months ago, but each time I wanted to take him I thought, "He's a catcher, and the Twins have that Mauer dude, so why bother?"