All spring long the Kansas City Royals have been looking at Brett Hayes and George Kottaras battle each other for the backup catcher position. This was a great battle that was waged throughout the spring season and came down to the final hours before finally it was clear that Kottaras was born to get the job. I’ll explain that later.
Both guys are 29 years old and have been behind the plate enough to hold their own. The word on Kottaras was that he was much better offensively than defensively but that did not seem to be apparent during the spring battle for the spot. Neither showed an advantage over the other one which made Ned Yost’s decision a difficult one. Finally he chose Kottaras because, as I said, he was born for the job.
Basically he got the position because he is a left handed bat while Hayes is a righty. Salvador Perez, the Royals starting catcher, is a righty so it came down to which way they swung the bat. Kottaras was the lucky lefty. Hayes will be at the Royals triple-A level to start the season. The sad truth for Kottaras is that while he is technically the backup catcher, he will probably be used more as a pinch-hitter. Perez is expected to play the vast majority of games. The left handed bat off the bench is surely another factor that won him the job.