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Thread: Kratz killing the ball

      
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    Default Kratz killing the ball

    Kratz killing the ball
    March 3rd, 2010

    TAMPA — Hoping to make a good impression on management this spring, catcher Erik Kratz is off to a good start.

    This afternoon, Kratz ripped a two-run double in the seventh inning of the 6-3 loss against the New York Yankees. He alertly went to third on an errant relay throw and scored the tying run on Ryan Church’s groundout. Yesterday, Kratz hit a solo homer against the State College of Florida.

    “He’s a threat at the plate and he’s catching very well,” manager John Russell said. “He’s picked up where he left off last year, when he put himself on the map. He had a very solid Triple-A season and he’s doing a good job so far here.”

    This is Kratz’s second time in Pirates camp as a non-roster invitee. Last season, Kratz, 29, batted .273 with 11 homers for Indianapolis and was named a regular season and postseason all-star in the International League.

    Drafted in the 29th round by Toronto in 2002, Kratz homered in his first professional at-bat. He has played eight seasons in the minors but has never reached the big leagues.

    — Paul Maholm, Ross Ohlendorf, Brian Bass and D.J. Carrasco held the Yankees hitless for the first four innings. Alex Rodriguez led off the fifth with a single to center off Chris Jakubauskas.

    — Jeff Clement started at first base and played five innings. He handed nine throws from infielders without problem. “He did fine,” Russell said. “He was in the right position, didn’t stiffen up or panic.”

    Joel Hanrahan, on the mend from elbow soreness, this morning threw long toss from 45 feet. It was his first action of the spring.

    — Ryan Doumit, Ronny Cedeno, Aki Iwamura, Ramon Vazquez, Brandon Jones, Garrett Jones, Brian Myrow and Hector Gimenez will not make the trip Thursday to Orlando.

    Pitching assignments for the rest of the week:

    Thursday at the Braves: Charlie Morton (two innings/45 pitches max), Brian Burress (2/45), Brad Lincoln (one inning), Vinny Chulk (one or two innings) and Jeff Karstens (one inning). Kenchin Kawakami will start for Atlanta.

    Friday at the O’s: Zach Duke (2/45), Daniel McCutchen (2/45) and Vasquez (one inning) will pitch for the Pirates. Chris Tillman will start for Baltimore.

    Saturday vs. the Phils: Kevin Hart (2/45) and D.J. Carrasco (2/40) for the Pirates. Joe Blanton will start for Philly.

    http://blog.triblive.com/bucco-blog/...rgh+Pirates%29
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    Default Re: Kratz killing the ball

    Craig Monroe.

    That is all.

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    Default Re: Kratz killing the ball

    Don't agree, for four reasons.


    One, Kratz plays catcher, unquestionably a glove-and-defense-first position, so expectations for his bat are lower than they would be at other positions. Two, he does have more than a little power. His triple-A career totals show more than 60 extra base hits in a little under 700 at bats, ie, about a season a quarter equivalent. So, while he almost certainly wouldn't hit for much of an average on the big league level, when he runs into one, it goes. Three, he probably projects as a number two catcher, but with the depth the Pirates have at backstop, that's all we'd need him to be, anyway. I think he'd be just fine as a 200 at-bat-per-season kinda guy. Four, he evidently handles pitchers well and otherwise has a good glove/mitt, so he already brings value from that point on the diamond.


    Overall, I like him. He reminds me a lot of a guy who used to play for the Pirates, Mark Parent. I don't know that Kratz has Parent's raw power, and I think Kratz would do a bit better than Parent's .214 career average, but Parent lasted more than a decade in the bigs and once hit 18 home runs in a season. I think Kratz could post similar numbers, and as a number two catcher, that's more than good enough. If nothing else, he keeps Jaramillo honest and he gives us a good option if someone gets hurt or underperforms.

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    Default Re: Kratz killing the ball

    Kratz is a career minor leaguer....good AAA depth guy along with Carlin.

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    Default Re: Kratz killing the ball

    Quote Originally Posted by wvkeeper View Post
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    Craig Monroe.

    That is all.
    You know... I was trying to remember that name yesterday as I was downplaying the importance of Grape Fruit league stats and performances and couldn't remember it. Brad Eldred always jumps out at me as that...

    But yeah Craig Monroe is a great example of someone that can overachieve, get some people excited in Spring Training and be a lazy underperformer in MLB games..

    Saying that Kratz like PFIV said is nothing but career minor league. He's 29 years old with a projected below average MLB bat, no good particular skill set... did I mention that he's 29?

    The only thing or person that's pushing Jaramillo is Jaramillo. Back up is his job to lose and it will take a lot for that to happen (much like my6 philosophy with Clement)

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    Default Re: Kratz killing the ball

    We'll see. Backup catchers, in particular, seem to have 9 lives in baseball.


    I've said many times that when he first came up with Pittsburgh, Tom Prince was to this day the single worst excuse for a hitter as a position player I have ever seen. We had pitchers---several of them---who were better hitters. I mean, he was worse than Brian Bixler, and you can look it up. No one was happier than I was to see him run out of town on a rail.


    But then, lo and behold, about 5 years later he made it back to the bigs in his early 30s and actually had about 3 or 4 halfway productive seasons as a backup-platoon guy. He even hit for a little bit of power, with at least 2 games that I remember in which he cranked two home runs. His career average was ultimately only .209, but it was quite an achievement for him to do that when his career average when he left Pittsburgh was .166. (I'm not making that up. He. Was. Beyond. Horrible.)


    Then there was Whatsisface we had in here a couple seasons ago, the 35 year old catcher who hadn't played in the bigs for umpteen years. He did a good job for us and later went to Toronto (though I don't think he's still active).


    So, ya never know with guys like Kratz. Meanwhile, while I like Jaramillo well enough, I wouldn't say his job is 100% secure. As I say, if nothing else, having a productive triple-A guy, even one who is probably a four-A veteran like Kratz, at least keeps your 24th and 25th men on the big league roster looking over their shoulders, and that's not an entirely undesireable thing.
    Last edited by williamjpellas; Mar-05-2010 at 12:43 PM.

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    Default Re: Kratz killing the ball

    Quote Originally Posted by williamjpellas View Post
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    We'll see. Backup catchers, in particular, seem to have 9 lives in baseball.


    I've said many times that when he first came up with Pittsburgh, Tom Prince was to this day the single worst excuse for a hitter as a position player I have ever seen. We had pitchers---several of them---who were better hitters. I mean, he was worse than Brian Bixler, and you can look it up. No one was happier than I was to see him run out of town on a rail.


    But then, lo and behold, about 5 years later he made it back to the bigs in his early 30s and actually had about 3 or 4 halfway productive seasons as a backup-platoon guy. He even hit for a little bit of power, with at least 2 games that I remember in which he cranked two home runs. His career average was ultimately only .209, but it was quite an achievement for him to do that when his career average when he left Pittsburgh was .166. (I'm not making that up. He. Was. Beyond. Horrible.)


    Then there was Whatsisface we had in here a couple seasons ago, the 35 year old catcher who hadn't played in the bigs for umpteen years. He did a good job for us and later went to Toronto (though I don't think he's still active).


    So, ya never know with guys like Kratz. Meanwhile, while I like Jaramillo well enough, I wouldn't say his job is 100% secure. As I say, if nothing else, having a productive triple-A guy, even one who is probably a four-A veteran like Kratz, at least keeps your 24th and 25th men on the big league roster looking over their shoulders, and that's not an entirely undesireable thing.
    All true and I don't doubt he could play a limited role in the ML's but Kratz was a FA at the end of last year and the Pirates didn't protect him.....that's not showing him much love. They later signed him to be AAA depth...I don't think you will see him in Pittsburgh unless there's an injury.

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    Default Re: Kratz killing the ball

    Quote Originally Posted by williamjpellas View Post
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    We'll see. Backup catchers, in particular, seem to have 9 lives in baseball.


    I've said many times that when he first came up with Pittsburgh, Tom Prince was to this day the single worst excuse for a hitter as a position player I have ever seen. We had pitchers---several of them---who were better hitters. I mean, he was worse than Brian Bixler, and you can look it up. No one was happier than I was to see him run out of town on a rail.


    But then, lo and behold, about 5 years later he made it back to the bigs in his early 30s and actually had about 3 or 4 halfway productive seasons as a backup-platoon guy. He even hit for a little bit of power, with at least 2 games that I remember in which he cranked two home runs. His career average was ultimately only .209, but it was quite an achievement for him to do that when his career average when he left Pittsburgh was .166. (I'm not making that up. He. Was. Beyond. Horrible.)


    Then there was Whatsisface we had in here a couple seasons ago, the 35 year old catcher who hadn't played in the bigs for umpteen years. He did a good job for us and later went to Toronto (though I don't think he's still active).


    So, ya never know with guys like Kratz. Meanwhile, while I like Jaramillo well enough, I wouldn't say his job is 100% secure. As I say, if nothing else, having a productive triple-A guy, even one who is probably a four-A veteran like Kratz, at least keeps your 24th and 25th men on the big league roster looking over their shoulders, and that's not an entirely undesireable thing.
    Tom Prince .

    You can't use what one player did and apply that to everyone. That's just logic that is crying for the end result to be failure. It's logic that we really shouldn't use AT ALL or expect and want our FO to use.

    Some players in any sport at any position can be really bad for most of their careers and luck out with a decent season or 2. Sometimes it is what it is - Luck, Flukes ... they are great when they happen to you, but in a lot of instances you can't predict when they will happen and you can't get into the habit of making decisions with the hopes that good luck will happen to you (especially not the Pirates who catch good luck like Ronnie Paulino caught pop ups) .

    Kratz is a career minor league. That's pretty much all he's ever been. Sure, he could luck out just like anyone and be of some positive use for an MLB team at some point in his career but you can't plan for it or accept it. If it happens, great... don't expect it. right now, Jaramillo is the far superior backup catching option..

    Kind of scary though that Ian Snell praised Kratz. Not sure I feel good about that considering Ian snell is a moron

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    Default Re: Kratz killing the ball

    I'm not saying we should count on Kratz. Only that worse players than him have hung on forever and have become major league contributors---not stars, but contributors.

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    Default Re: Kratz killing the ball

    Quote Originally Posted by williamjpellas View Post
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    I'm not saying we should count on Kratz. Only that worse players than him have hung on forever and have become major league contributors---not stars, but contributors.
    I didn't disagree with that but lets be honest.. Nobody outside of his family is calling Tom Prince anything outside of a crappy player . Kratz is a career minor league until proven otherwise. At age 29, that window is closing

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    Default Re: Kratz killing the ball

    Quote Originally Posted by Kipper View Post
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    I didn't disagree with that but lets be honest.. Nobody outside of his family is calling Tom Prince anything outside of a crappy player . Kratz is a career minor league until proven otherwise. At age 29, that window is closing
    Do you know that Tom Prince is the Pirates GCL manager?

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    Default Re: Kratz killing the ball

    Quote Originally Posted by PittFaninVa View Post
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    Do you know that Tom Prince is the Pirates GCL manager?
    I was unaware of that.

    Not a surprise. Usually players that can't hack it or are mediocre in the big leagues become coaches

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    Default Re: Kratz killing the ball

    Yep. Jim Leyland, for example, couldn't even make it out of A-ball, if memory serves. Of course, I've often wondered if his difficulty in throwing out basestealers was due to his inability to grip the baseball properly because he had cigarettes stuck in between all of his fingers.

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    Default Re: Kratz killing the ball

    Quote Originally Posted by williamjpellas View Post
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    Yep. Jim Leyland, for example, couldn't even make it out of A-ball, if memory serves. Of course, I've often wondered if his difficulty in throwing out basestealers was due to his inability to grip the baseball properly because he had cigarettes stuck in between all of his fingers.


    I heard that it was because his mustache was too awesome, the organization held him back cause it couldn't handle that much awesomeness going through the system

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    Default Re: Kratz killing the ball

    Eric Kratz, who had a two-run homer against a local junior college Tuesday, then rapped a two-run double to temporarily tie the world-champion New York Yankees the next day, sat out his second consecutive Grapefruit League game. But a quick glance at the Pirates' statistics shows he is the only player with an official 1.000 average.

    "It has definitely been a difficult road," Kratz said of his path to the Pirates, where he hopes to remain the regular Class AAA Indianapolis catcher or work as a major league backup.

    He is 29, three months from 30. He has a wife and two boys and an offseason job with a buddy's construction company at home in Harrisonburg, Va., to where he nearly quit this baseball journey in 2004, '06 and again in '08. He has played for eight teams in six minor leagues and two countries.

    He was placed in 2004 on what he called the "phantom" disabled list, toiling for three teams in three levels totaling 29 games. "It'd be like, 'How's that shin contusion?' " Kratz recalled Friday. "And you look down at your shins, and they're fine."

    He was selected by the Toronto Blue Jays in the 29th round of the 2002 draft, after he established a Division III record for career doubles at Eastern Mennonite University in Harrisonburg. Only once did he play more than 49 games in a season at one spot for the Blue Jays, only once did he play as many as 90 games in any season. Once, he said, the parent club promoted an injured catcher over him.

    Kratz's wife, Sarah, taught school until Brayden was born in 2006. She has worked as a long-term substitute teacher since then, with Ethan arriving in January '09. Maybe that was a sign. For barely a week before his birth, Kratz was signed to a minor league deal with the Pirates. With Robinzon Diaz -- since departed -- shuttling between the Pirates and Indianapolis because of Ryan Doumit's wrist surgery, Kratz gathered career highs with one team: 93 games and 319 at-bats and 43 RBIs, though he tied his previous mark with 11 homers. He not only made the International League midseason and postseason All-Star teams, he was the midsummer's game MVP with a double and a two-run homer. "I always felt like I could do it, and I got the opportunity to prove it last year," he said.

    General manager Neal Huntington noted that last year's backup, Jason Jaramillo, has minor league options remaining and could go to Indianapolis on occasion for extended playing time, with Kratz or non-roster invitee Luke Carlin backing up Doumit. Kratz said he prefers "not [to be] just a JIC guy -- Just In Case. I feel like I can step in and help this team right away. That's the hope. That's the goal



    Read more: http://pittsburghpost-gazette.com/pg...#ixzz0hOaXgX4f
    Are these morons getting dumber or just louder-Mayor Quimby

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