MAY 24: Kratz has cleared waivers and been released, tweets MLB.com’s Brian McTaggart.
MAY 23: The Astros have placed Kratz on release waivers, tweets SB Nation’s Chris Cotillo. If he clears tomorrow, he’ll be a free agent.
MAY 16: The Astros announced today that they have designated catcher Erik Kratz for assignment as part of a series of roster moves. Houston has also optioned outfielder Preston Tucker to Triple-A, recalled Evan Gattis from Double-A Corpus Christi and selected the contract of infielder/outfielder Tony Kemp. Gattis will serve as the team’s new backup catcher.
Kratz, 35, came to the Astros late in Spring Training in exchange for right-hander Dan Straily. The veteran backstop appeared in 15 games for Houston, totaling 30 plate appearances, but went just 2-for-29 at the dish before today’s DFA. He also pitched an inning to save the Houston bullpen in an 11-1 loss suffered at the hands of the Mariners on April 26. The former Phillies/Royals/Blue Jays backstop is a career .210/.261/.381 hitter at the Major League level and has caught 33 percent of opposing base-stealers in his big league career.
Jake Kaplan of the Houston Chronicle first reported Kemp’s promotion. The 24-year-old entered the season rated 14th and 15th, respectively, by MLB.com and Baseball America on their lists of Houston’s top 30 prospects. He has a lengthy track record of getting on base and swiped 76 bases from 2014-15, but his defense has drawn some question marks (particularly from BA), and he lacks power, as evidenced by the 14 homers he’s hit in 1644 minor league plate appearances.