St. Louis Cardinals: Five Potential Backup Catchers for Yadier Molina in 2017
3. Erik Kratz – 36 Years Old
The St. Louis Cardinals could take a look across their division for their new backup. Erik Kratz, who debuted in 2010 with the Pirates, has bounced around for majority of his career. But he found his way back home in 2016, signing a minor league contract with Pittsburgh.
Some Cardinal fans might remember Kratz play at the plate on June 13th of this year when he tagged out Stephen Piscotty without ever giving Stephen any room to slide. This caused a bitter argument between Matheny and the umpiring crew, even after the replay confirmed the call on the field. Matheny kept the argument going after the game, calling the tag a “blatant disregard of the new rule.”
While Kratz has never really gotten enough at bats to put up a consistent performance, he owns a career slash line of .200/.248/.362. However, Kratz has flashed a great deal of promise with his defense.
Through his six year career that has spanned between six different teams, Kratz has been a very reliable backstop, throwing out 34% of would be base stealers. Though it has been with limited time (1387 innings), Kratz has only made 4 errors in his career, to give him a .997 career fielding percentage.
Kratz is a serviceable defender with a below average bat but has an above average arm. He would be very cheap, costing barely above league minimum for nothing more than a 1 year deal. And on an unrelated note, on June 21, 2016, Kratz struck out Brandon Belt for his first career K. Hilarious.