Minors Notebook: Kratz to return, Williams rehab, more

On Friday evening, the Phillies announced that veteran backstop Erik Kratz has been signed to a minor league deal and will report to Triple-A Lehigh Valley on Monday.

Kratz made his big league debut at the age of 30 five years ago to the day that this week’s Phillies news came out.  The righty hitting Kratz is now 35 years old and has a .217/.240/.400 slash line in parts of six big league seasons.  He played with the Phils from 2011 to 2013 and was dealt to Toronto in a trade for pitcher Brad Lincoln.

The 6-foot-4 240-pound Kratz played in four big league games this year with Kansas City and played at the Triple-A level for KC and Seattle this season as well.

In the lower levels, this year’s top Phils draft pick, outfielder Cornelius Randolph, sports a .282 average with seven doubles, a triple, a home run and 15 RBI in his first 20 professional games with the rookie level Gulf Coast League Phillies.  The lefty batting 18-year-0ld was selected 10th overall.

Clearwater outfielder Dylan Cozens, who has missed time recently with a foot injury, began a rehab stint with the GCL club today.  The 22-year-old was the Phils’ 2nd round draft selection in 2012.  In 66 games with the Threshers this season, Cozens sports a .264 average with three homers, 33 RBI and 12 stolen bases.

Also rehabbing, Phillies hurler Jerome Williams tossed an eight-inning gem for Double-A Reading on Friday.  Leading the charge in a 7-3 defeat of New Britain, the 33-year-old tossed eight innings, allowing two runs (one earned) while stiking out five and walking none.  Williams has a 6.43 ERA in 14 major league starts this year and has posted a 4.02 ERA in three total minor league rehab appearances.

Lastly, 2010 top draft choice Jesse Biddle tossed seven innings on Friday, allowing three hits and no runs while striking out seven and walking one en route to a victory.  The 23-year-old lefty suffered the loss in his Triple-A debut last Wednesday, as he was charged with seven earned runs in 2 1/3 innings.

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