Erik Kratz was one of the great stories to come out of the 2010 Triple-A All-Star Game at Coca-Cola Park. The veteran minor league catcher left the game earlier than expected, but for a good reason; the Pirates decided to purchase his contract and they wanted to make sure he stayed healthy. After nine minor league seasons and over 600 minor league games, Kratz would finally be a major leaguer.
Kratz would play in just nine major league games and hit just .118 before being returned to Indianapolis. At the end of the season, Kratz was dropped from the Pirates 40 man roster and became a minor league free agent and the Phillies moved quickly to sign him to a minor league deal. Kratz is a career .252 hitter in the minors, but is known for his defensive skills behind the plate.
After playing in the Triple-A All-Star Game, Kratz will now likely call Coca-Cola Park home as a member of the Lehigh Valley IronPigs. It’s also likely that by signing Kratz, the Phillies have decided to let veteran catcher Paul Hoover sign elsewhere as a free agent. Hoover’s catching mate, Dane Sardinha, re-signed with the Phillies on Thursday (November 11) and figures to team with Kratz to handle the catching duties for Lehigh Valley.
Hoover had spent the past two seasons as the primary catcher for Lehigh Valley and is a minor league free agent.