Weeks ago, Erik Kratz was promoted from Lehigh Valley for a stint in the big leagues that was supposed to be the start of an illustrious catching career. Was the move based mostly on empty spots on the Phillies roster? Yes it was. But that didn’t mean Erik couldn’t start burrowing in, using the opportunity to begin the Erik Kratz Era and ushering in a generation of productive back-up catching.
Brian Schneider, ankle sprained to all hell, can explain it better.
“The bad thing about being a catcher is there are only two of us. And Chooch is playing tomorrow and we have to have someone backing him up.”
I have some charts if you’re still not getting it.
Kratz wasn’t up long enough to establish dominance or a group of fans who develop a clever nickname for him and dress up in correspondence to it. Something like “Pieces of Kratz,” only not that, because it sounds like a horrible insult.
He is one for four at the Major League level, but that one was his first ML home run. As a 32-year-old catcher whose played predominantly in our farm system, he doesn’t have the flash or electricity of your Bryce Harpers and your Mike Trouts. He’s got about the same flash as a five dollar bill you find in an old pair of pants.
However, if he keeps his Major League hitting tempo where it is, he will homer every four at-bats. And that’s an offensive contribution that, if timed with the return of Chase Utley, could be quite beneficial, as long as he gets at least four AB a game.
That statement’s ridiculousness aside, Kratz has spent the year with a 266/.326/.540 slash line, knocking in 30 over 124 AB with eight home runs. He was also the one the Gwinnet Braves threw at after Domonic Brown hit his second home run in one game and ran around the bases, taunting everyone.
Why, a few weeks ago, Kratz was responsible of all the runs in an IronPigs 5-2 win, courtesy of a grand slam and a sac fly. And the slam came off John Lannan, so Kratz is already all too familiar with the concept of vengeance.
So let’s let Chase Utley’s recent words get us all worked up about everything, including the promotion of our third string catcher.