The Royals announced today that they have reinstated catcher Erik Kratz from the 15-day disabled list and designated him for assignment (Twitter link). The decision means that Drew Butera will be Kansas City’s backup to Salvador Perez going forward.
The 34-year-old Kratz had previously served as Perez’s backup, although he scarcely saw action due to the excellent young backstop’s exceptionally high workload behind he dish. Kratz picked up just five plate appearances in four games with the Royals this year and has been on the disabled list since early May with inflammation in his left foot.
Most of Kratz’s career has been spent with the Phillies, but he’s also had brief stints in Toronto and Kansas City. All told, Kratz has shown nice power but low batting average and on-base capabilities, as evidenced by a .217/.270/.400 batting line. He’s also a skilled pitch-framer, however, and he’s thrown out 32 percent of attempted base-stealers in his big league career.
Butera, 31, is considered by many to be an excellent defender in his own right, however, which is largely why he has amassed 771 big league plate appearances despite being one of the least productive hitters in the game. The longtime Twin is a career .182/.236/.265 hitter in parts of six seasons with the Twins, Dodgers, Angels and now Royals. Kansas City acquired Butera from the Angels on May 7 in exchange for infielder Ryan Jackson.