When 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.