2013 Player Reviews

Phillies Player Review: Erik Kratz

KratzWhen Brian Schneider was still with the Phillies, I wondered why. Nothing against the veteran backstop, but waiting in the wings was a seemingly better option, Erik Kratz. At the time, he had been tearing up pitching in the minors, and I’d heard first hand that the major league starters were very high on Kratz. It would eventually become his time to get a shot with the Phillies. And it was deserved.

In 2013, Kratz got time to play early in the season with Carlos Ruiz sidelined due to his PED suspension. His warts were apparent, he was playing like a guy who should be a full-time backup. Again, not a knock on Kratz, but more an observation that not everyone is meant to be a starter.

Kratz would deal with injuries himself this past season, spending time on the DL with a knee injury that required surgery in June. The 33-year old would eventually return in late July, but his struggles at the plate continued. He also would lose his backup job to Cameron Rupp down the stretch.

After all was done, Kratz hit just .213 with nine homers. It seems unlikely he’ll return to the Phillies next season on anything more than a minor-league contract. Rupp performed well enough to deserve a shot as either the backup, or perhaps a platoon starter at catcher should Carlos Ruiz not return.

I’m certainly a fan of the local hero, but if 2013 is any precursor, it’s likely time to sever ties with Kratz.

Grade: D – Kratz couldn’t stay healthy and when he was he was not particularly good.



  1. Dave P

    November 7, 2013 at 11:47 am

    We’ll always have the turkey bacon, Kratz.

  2. Bob D

    November 7, 2013 at 1:47 pm

    Kratz actually had a decent start of the season hitting 8 hrs early on, then the 9th came the last day of the season.

    • wbramh

      November 8, 2013 at 3:59 am

      And who could forget his blast against Aroldis Chapman of all pitchers?

      He could have hung up his cleats after that great moment.
      Same for Galvis after his follow-up shot.

      A fond memory – at least for this fan.

  3. bacardipr

    November 8, 2013 at 3:44 am

    At this point they should give Rupp a chance. Nothing against Kratz but we already know what we got in him. I wouldnt mind seen him as a 3rd reserve in the minors if he is willing to take that role.

    • wbramh

      November 8, 2013 at 4:11 am

      Too bad Maikel Franco wasn’t (or couldn’t be) converted into a catcher.
      He certainly has all the raw skills but of course it takes much more, which is why good ones are hard to come by and great ones are rare.

      These days, a catcher with a decent arm who can protect the plate and work well with his pitchers can hit.211 and remain in the league, Not sure Kratz is that player but he appears to be a passable #3 who may improve behind the plate given more time working with the staff.

  4. GWiedo

    November 15, 2013 at 11:00 am

    Wow this article really shows how little Pat Gallen knows about the Phillies! First of all Kratz is probably the best defensive catcher in the entire Phillies organization! Second, most of the reason that he didn’t have the same level of offensive production was due to only having a chance to play every day during the first part of the season while Ruiz was sitting out his suspension. Kratz’s history shows that he’s at his best offensively, when he gets a chance to start every day! Once Ruiz came back, having only an opportunity to play once in every 5-6 days will have an effect on offensive production for even the best in the game! Oh and by the way, he did not lose his backup role to Cameron Rupp down the stretch! The organization wanted to give Rupp a chance against major league pitching and see how he handled a major league pitching staff, so they could find out if he had any value in the future. Rupp had a fluke break out year, didn’t do much of anything offensively when he was given a chance and will probably be a backup catcher for the Iron Pigs next year. While Kratz’s offensive numbers are not the best when he doesn’t get a chance to play regularly, his work ethic and defensive skills still make him a solid choice behind the plate for the Phillies organization, even if it’s just in a backup role. That is if they can find an all-star caliber offensive producing catcher to replace Ruiz, who has just enough defensive and pitching staff skills to start ahead of Kratz.

    • wbramh

      November 15, 2013 at 1:19 pm

      GWiedo: You would have made a stronger point had you eliminated your opening line.
      Next time, consider starting your rebuttal with the term “I disagree with…”
      As for Pat Gallen’s knowledge of the team, while I don’t always agree with him, I’d be happy to possess half his insight.

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