Player Review/Preview: Erik Kratz
By Mike Lacy
Image Credit: Howard Smith-USA TODAY Sports
Key 2013 Stats: .213 AVG/.280 OBP/.386 SLG, 9 HR, 26 RBIs
What Happened in 2013
With Carlos Ruiz suspended for the first fifty games of the season, Kratz served as the Phillies’ starting catcher. He didn’t perform especially well in that role as he hit only .191 and had some issues with Roy Halladay.
After Ruiz returned, Kratz’s playing time was reduced and his performance briefly picked up to the tune of a .286 average and four homers in May. Unfortunately, he couldn’t sustain those numbers, and his hitting in the second half was especially poor.
What to Expect in 2014
Kratz has been traded to the Blue Jays in exchange for relief pitcher Brad Lincoln. Kratz is expected to serve as the Blue Jays’ backup catcher, while the Phillies signed veteran journeyman Wil Nieves to replace him. Valuing backup catchers can be tricky, so it isn’t clear how much of a difference the switch from Kratz to Nieves will make. Considering the difference will likely be negligible, I’d say it was worth it to add another potential bullpen piece.
Many Phillies fans are upset about Kratz leaving the team. Most of this sentiment doesn’t seem to be related to his play on the field, but more because they were fond of his turkey bacon commercials.
With that said, let’s take one last look at those commercials:
It is yet to be determined if Nieves is planning to make any charming local commericals of his own.