Results tagged ‘ Erik Kratz ’
Catcher Carlos Ruiz is still serving his 25-game suspension for using a banned stimulant, and is eligible to rejoin the team April 28 against the Mets at Citi Field. But the Phillies could use him much earlier than that. Phillies catchers entered tonight’s game against the Reds at Great American Ball Park with a .486 on-base-plus-slugging percentage, which ranked 29th in baseball. Only Reds catchers (.326 OPS) have been worse.
Phillies catchers had an .861 OPS last season, which was the best in baseball. Ruiz has a career .781 OPS with a career-high .935 OPS last season.
Humberto Quintero is scheduled to catch Kyle Kendrick tonight. He entered the night hitting .222 (2-for-9) with one double. Erik Kratz entered the night hitting .171 (7-for-41) with two doubles, one home run and three RBIs.
Asked if he might use these final 12 days to evaluate his catchers, Charlie Manuel said, “They can count. When people start coming back we’re going to have to make some changes on our roster.”
But Manuel added anytime any of his hitters feel like stringing together some hits he will take it.
Erik Kratz is a Tony Award hopeful, but a CLIO Award seems more likely.
It has been difficult to miss his commercials for Godschall’s turkey bacon during Phillies broadcasts, most notably one in which he talks to a cartoon turkey dressed as a pig. The commercial has gone viral locally.
“I had a blast,” he said today at Turner Field. “I don’t know if commercials are my forte, but I had fun.”
Kratz’s father Floyd Kratz is a co-owner of the company, so he asked his son if he would help. He said yes.
“A lot of people think they’re cool,” he said.
And his teammates?
“Teammates make fun of me.”
Major League Baseball announced this afternoon that Carlos Ruiz has been suspended 25 games for using an amphetamine. The suspension begins at the beginning of the 2013 season, which means Ruiz is unable to play until April 28 against the New York Mets at Citi Field.
“I am sincerely regretful for my mistake in taking a prohibited stimulant,” Ruiz said in a statement. “I apologize to my teammates, the Phillies organization and the Philadelphia fans … I look forward to returning to the field and working toward bringing a championship back to Philadelphia in 2013.”
Losing Ruiz the first month of the season will make that pursuit a little more difficult. Ruiz, who will forfeit about $770,000 of his $5 million salary, had a career-season in 2012, hitting .325 with 32 doubles, 16 home runs, 68 RBIs, a .394 on-base percentage, a .540 slugging percentage and a .935 on-base-plus-slugging percentage.
This is the second time Ruiz has tested positive for an amphetamine. The first time a player tests positive for a prohibited stimulant the results remain private and the player is not suspended.
“The Phillies fully support Major League Baseball’s Drug Program,” Ruben Amaro Jr. said in a statement. “We are disappointed by the news of this violation of the program. We will support Carlos in an appropriate manner and move forward to achieve our goal to play championship-caliber baseball in 2013.”
The suspension means Erik Kratz likely will open the season as the team’s starting catcher.
Kratz hit .248 with nine doubles, nine home runs, 26 RBIs and an .809 OPS in 50 games last season. But he hit just .181 with two doubles, two home runs, nine RBIs and a .515 OPS in 23 games from Aug. 24 through the end of the regular season.
Ruiz’s absence the first month of the season means catching prospects Tommy Joseph and Sebastian Valle could get closer looks in Spring Training as the Phillies will need a backup catcher. Brian Schneider is not expected back.
Ruiz will be able to participate in Spring Training workouts and Grapefruit League games in Florida in February and March. He also will be allowed to take batting practice before the gates open before regular-season games. He is eligible to begin a rehab assignment five days before the end of his suspension, which would be April 23.
They are far from ready to draw conclusions.
Domonic Brown has hit .267 (20-for-75) with five doubles and 10 RBIs in 21 games. Kevin Frandsen has hit .350 (28-for-50) with two doubles, one triple, one home run and seven RBIs in 21 games. Erik Kratz has hit .292 (19-for-65) with seven doubles, seven home runs and 16 RBIs in 26 games. Left-hander Jeremy Horst is 1-0 with a 1.06 ERA in 16 appearances.
They are solid performances, but it makes little sense for the Phillies to anoint anybody anything – from backup catcher to left-hander in the 2013 bullpen – based on less than a month’s worth of games.
“They haven’t pitched a ton and they haven’t played a ton,” Amaro said today. “They’ve only played a couple weeks. They’ve done a nice job. I don’t want to take away from the job they’ve done, but you have to understand that two weeks does not make or break you. I had a nice two weeks in my career and then I stunk. I think these guys are probably better players than I am, but everybody likes to jump on the bandwagon, plus or minus. I think we have to show some patience there.”
The Phillies entered tonight’s game against the Cincinnati Reds at Citizens Bank Park with 39 games to play. They will get the opportunity to take a closer look at everybody in those games, but the evaluation process will continue in the offseason and very likely through the closing days of Spring Training 2013.
“Domonic has had about as good as a consistent approach as anybody on our club,” Amaro said. “He and Frandsen have been putting together the best overall at-bats as far as controlling the strike zone and swinging at strikes.”
And the lack of power from Brown so far?
“He’s got a lot of natural power and raw power,” Amaro continued. “I’m not worried about that. It always comes late with young players. Very, very rarely does consistent power come in the Major Leagues when they’re young. He’s been fine in the outfield, too. He’s not a finished product yet. He’s still learning. But I have a lot of confidence he can be an everyday rightfielder or leftfielder.”
Amaro likes what he has seen from Frandsen and Kratz, commending them for making the most of their opportunity. He stopped short of saying either would be on the bench next season, again, because they need to see more.
“It’s a possibility,” Amaro said of Kratz’s chances as a backup. “We’ll continue to watch him play.”
There has been an interesting fascination with fans regarding former infielder Wilson Valdez in Philadelphia. The Phillies traded him to the Reds in the offseason for Horst. Earlier this season even Amaro said he wished he had kept Valdez, but in retrospect it looks like a good trade.
“Guys like Horst and (Raul) Valdes have performed well and much more consistently than some of the other guys in the bullpen, but some other guys have pretty good arms,” he said. “They haven’t really pitched enough to make a decision one way or the other.”
They announced Saturday morning Carlos Ruiz, who is the team’s MVP if the season ended today, has been placed on the 15-day disabled list with plantar fasciitis in his left foot.
A MRI revealed a partial tear in the foot. He is expected to miss four to six weeks.
The Phillies recalled Hector Luna to take Ruiz’s spot on the roster. Brian Schneider and Erik Kratz will handle the team’s catching duties into September.
Ruiz was having the best season of his career. He was hitting .335 with 28 doubles, 14 home runs, 58 RBIs, a .399 on-base percentage, a .559 slugging percentage and a .959 OPS. He already set career-highs in home runs and RBIs. He ranked fourth in the National League in batting average, sixth in on-base percentage, sixth in slugging percentage and sixth in OPS.
Unfortunately for Ruiz, he will not finish the season with enough plate appearances to qualify among the league leaders in those categories.
Ruiz will be reevaluated in two weeks. The foot has been bothering him for at least a couple weeks, but he thought he could manage it.
As soon as we hear anything we will let you know.
Like I said in my previous post, I would be surprised if Halladay is not placed on the DL. He has been struggling for a month, and it seems quite possible he has not felt right since spring training. He has soreness in his right shoulder, and shoulders are nothing to mess with. I suppose the best-case scenario is that it’s some inflammation that requires a little rest.
Worst-case scenario … well, we’re talking torn rotator cuff.
For what it’s worth, here’s what Cole Hamels said yesterday about Halladay’s injury: “He’s a battler. Shoot, he’s had more work than anybody in this game. If you can go out every season and pitch 250 innings, he’s the best. It’s just one of those things where I think the team is trying to be cautious. He works harder than anybody I’ve ever seen, so he’s going to get back out there as fast as he can to help the team. I don’t think it’s too serious, because I play catch with him every day.”
Erik Kratz is headed to New York in case Carlos Ruiz (tightness in his right hamstring) needs to be placed on the DL, as Allentown’s Jeff Schuler first reported.
Jim Salisbury and I co-authored the book The Rotation, which is now available. Check it out here! Here are our upcoming book signings:
- SATURDAY: Citizens Bank Park, 3–4 p.m.
- June 16: Barnes & Noble, Wilmington, Del, 2 p.m.
Congrats to diekman, valdes, and luna for being called up!
— michael schwimer (@mschwimer) May 10, 2012
So it looks like the Phillies are making more than one change to the 25-man roster before Friday’s series opener aganist the Padres. The team announced Wednesday they had optioned left-hander Joe Savery to Triple-A Lehigh Valley. They said then they would make a corresponding move Friday.
But Triple-A right-hander Michael Schwimer announced on his Twitter account today that left-handers Jake Diekman and Raul Valdes and infielder Hector Luna are headed to Philadelphia. The Phillies have not made any official moves, and have not returned calls seeking confirmation. Right-hander Brian Sanches and catcher Erik Kratz are the most likely to be sent out. Laynce Nix also could be DL’s because of a strained left calf, which would keep Kratz around.
Got a book signing tonight. Check out the information below!
Jim Salisbury and I co-authored the book The Rotation, which is now available. Check it out here! Here are our upcoming book signings:
- TONIGHT: Tredyfrrin Public Library in Stafford, PA, 7:30 p.m.
- June 2: Citizens Bank Park, 3:00 – 4:00 p.m.
- June 16: Barnes & Noble, 4801 Concord Pike, Wilmington, Del., 2:00 p.m.
The Phillies have invited 12 players to Spring Training as non-roster invitees. Here are their names and bios from a Phillies press release:
- Josh Barfield, INF … Barfield, 27, spent last season with triple-A Portland in the San Diego Padres organization where he batted .294 with five home runs and 36 RBI in 78 games. For his major league career, he has hit .264 with 16 home runs and 112 RBI in 309 games between the Padres (2006) and Cleveland Indians (2007-09). Barfield’s father, Jesse, spent 12 seasons in the majors between the Blue Jays and Yankees from 1981-92.
- Eddie Bonine, RHP … The 29-year-old Bonine spent his first full season in the major leagues with Detroit where he went 4-1 with a 4.63 ERA in 47 appearances (one start). A Rule 5 draft selection of the Tigers in 2005, Bonine set career highs in wins, appearances and innings (68.0) in 2010. In 62 career appearances in the majors, he has posted a 7-3 record with a 4.74 ERA.
- Tagg Bozied, INF/OF … In 104 games for double-A Reading last season, Bozied, 31, batted .315 and led all Phillies minor leaguers with 27 home runs and 92 RBI. The Eastern League All-Star also led the league in batting average, on-base percentage (.402) and slugging percentage (.631). Bozied appeared at both first and third base as well as left and right field for Reading.
- Ryan Feierabend, LHP … Feierabend, 25, spent last season between three levels of the Seattle Mariners organization after missing the entire 2009 season due to “Tommy John” surgery. In 2010, he appeared in 25 games (24 starts) and went 5-8 with a 5.14 ERA between triple-A Tacoma, double-A West Tennessee and single-A High Desert. Feierabend has appeared in 25 major league games (19 starts), all for Seattle (2006-08).
- Erik Kratz, C … In 70 games last season for triple-A Indianapolis in the Pittsburgh Pirates organization, Kratz, 30, hit .274 with nine home runs and 41 RBI. The native of Telford, PA, batted .336 over a 36-game span in May and June to earn a promotion to Pittsburgh in July. Kratz collected two hits in his big league debut, July 17 against Houston.
A source confirmed a FOXsports.com report the Phillies verbally agreed to Minor League contracts with right-handed pitcher Eddie Bonine, who spent last season in the Detroit Tigers bullpen, and catcher Erik Kratz, who appeared in nine games with the Pittsburgh Pirates.
Bonine, 29, went 4-1 with a 4.63 ERA in 47 appearances (one start) in 2010. He could compete for a bullpen job in Spring Training as a non-roster invitee or begin the season in Triple-A Lehigh Valley. He is a swingman-type pitcher, who could provide the Phillies versatility in a pinch.
Bonine has a fastball that sits around 90 mph, but he also throws a knuckleball. He went 7-3 with a 4.74 ERA in 62 appearances (10 starts) in three seasons in Detroit. He went 49-39 with a 4.52 ERA in 197 appearances (109) starts in his Minor League career.
Kratz, 30, hit .118 (4 for 34) with one RBI for the Pirates. He hit .274 with nine homers and 41 RBIs in 70 games with Triple-A Indianapolis.