Turkey bacon or no turkey bacon? The Phillies need to make a roster move tonight to add currently-suspended Carlos Ruiz back to both the 40-man and active roster. Catcher Humberto Quintero makes yet another start today against the Mets. Today's lineup makes us wonder: could Erik Kratz be the catcher that heads to Lehigh Valley?
Offense has been a major concern for the Phillies lately. The catching position has not been providing much of it. We all rememeber Kratz's big home run, but he has produced little. Here are the two catchers' offensive numbers so far:
Quintero: .313 AVG, 2 2B, 2 RBI, .790 OPS
Kratz: .191 AVG, 2 2B, 2 HR, 7 RBI, .663 OPS
What works to Kratz's disadvantage is that he has an option year remaining on his contract. The Phillies can send him back and forth to Lehigh Valley all year long as they need to. Quintero could back up Ruiz and Kratz could head to AAA where he probably would have to DH and play first base since catching prospect Tommy Joseph is doing the bulk of the catching. Kratz could catch a couple days a week and hone his hitting skills.
Besides room on the active roster the Phillies need a 40-man roster spot. They could cut Quintero altogether, making him a free agent and that would be Ruiz's spot on both the 25-man and 40-man. A veteran, the Phillies cannot send Quintero to the minors. After a solid contribution so far in 2013, maybe Quintero will feel that he can sign elsewhere and leave as a free agent. The Yankees just lost catcher Francisco Cervelli yesterday and could use a veteran like Quintero.
Some candidates to lose their 40-man roster spot: Tyson Gillies, Sebastian Valle, and possibly even Tyler Cloyd, who may be scuffling enough that another team would not pick him up if they try to outright him off of the roster.
The Phillies might like the idea of extra catching depth at AAA while at the same time knowing that Tommy Joseph can stay there all season and develop. Of course, the Phillies may decide that Kratz's offensive contributions may not matter if he is only playing a couple days a week. Either way, should be an interesting decision.