The Philadelphia Phillies have called up Telford native Erik Kratz from the Triple-A Lehigh Valley IronPigs, according to a tweet from FOX Sports writer Jon Morosi. Kratz has spent the last 11 years in the minor leagues, although he saw brief major league action at the end of both 2010 and 2011.
Kratz has torn up the Triple-A level the last three seasons, being named an All-Star each season. He is a power hitter, having hit .288/.372/.466 with 15 home runs and 53 RBIs in 409 plate appearances in 2011. Kratz is a .258/.332/.440 career minor league hitter with 94 home runs and 359 RBIs in over 2,800 plate appearances.
He saw his first major league action in 2010 with the Pittsburgh Pirates, going 4-for-34 in a September stretch. Kratz was called up again with the Phillies in 2011, and went 2-for-6 at the major league level. He went into 2012 as the starting catcher for the IronPigs, although I campaigned for the Phillies to use Kratz as the backup over Brian Schneider.
Schneider is on the twilight stage of his major league career. He hit only .172 last season and while he handles the pitchers well, I would rather see Kratz at the big league level. Kratz has a low of raw power and he could turn into the next Chris Coste. I think it’s safe to say Kratz won’t take over for Carlos Ruiz as the full-time starter, but he could be a solid right-handed power bat off the bench.
As for now, it remains to be seen who will be sent down or placed on the DL with Kratz being called up.