With Milwaukee Brewers starting catcher Jonathan Lucroy out 4 to 6 weeks after suffering a broken right hand and backup catcher George Kottaras experiencing hamstring tightness, Martin Maldonado will see significant playing time in the big leagues.
Lucroy broke his hand when his wife accidentally moved a suitcase off their hotel bed, which coincidentally fell on top of the catcher’s right hand. He tried to cover up the injury and the pain but when he could not even grip a bat before the game he knew he had to tell someone. Kottaras will be unable to start as well as he is having problems with his hamstring.
This paves the way for minor league catcher Maldonado to make a name for himself with the Brewers. Maldonado is currently batting .198 at Class AAA Nashville but hopefully he will be able to improve on that when he gets some quality plate appearances over the next few weeks. His only at-bat in the majors came last season with the Brewers in which he struck out.
The 25-year-old Maldonado was born in Naguabo, Puerto Rico. He was drafted by the Los Angeles Angels in the 27th round of the 2004 MLB amateur entry draft. He played two seasons with the rookie-level Arizona League Angels before being released by the team in 2006. The Brewers signed him to a minor-league contract in 2007 in which he has played his way up through the ranks. In 2010 he spent most of his time in Triple-A which led to him being called up on September 3, 2011 to play three games with Milwaukee.
Maldonado has waited a long time for his opportunity to make a name for himself and you can bet he does not plan on squandering it. He has been preparing for a situation such as this one for years which means there should not be much of a learning curve. Obviously, there will be some initial nerves he will have to get over catching for a former Cy Young Award winner and other professional pitchers. Other than that, he should be good to go on defense and hopefully he will be able to string together some at-bats together on offense.