The Phillies already depleted roster suffered another blow tonight when they lost their backup catcher to an injury of his own. Erik Kratz played all nine innings but according to The Delaware News Journal's Chris Branch, "felt a pop" and was unable to walk down the steps to the dugout. The assumption is that the injury does not look good and that Kratz will miss significant time.
Kratz's injury is a major blow to the Phillies, who are already without their starting catcher and are desperate for offensive production. Since Carlos Ruiz hit the disabled list, Kratz is hitting .325 with two doubles, four home runs and nine RBI. Kratz is second on the team in home runs with eight.
The Phillies will have to find room on their 40-man roster to replace Kratz on the active roster if the move is to bring back catcher Stephen Lerud, who appeared briefly for the Phillies last season. Lerud was with the Phillies during most of Spring Training and is familiar with the pitching staff and would be the most obvious choice among those currently under Phillies control.
However, with Carlos Ruiz looking at a rehab assignment next week, perhaps the Phillies could go in another direction, figuring Quintero could start the bulk of the games until Ruiz's return.
Sebastian Valle is already on the Phillies 40-man roster, and the team would have no need to make any roster moves. Valle, however, appears to have fallen from the graces of the Phillies. At AA Reading, Valle has been buried behind prospect Cameron Rupp and is hitting just .213 and has spent time serving as the team's DH and playing left field. If the Phillies really believe that Valle has flamed out, Valle could be the one the Phillies cut to make room for Lerud.
Another option to be cut from the Phillies 40-man roster is outfielder Tyson Gillies, acquired from the Seattle Mariners in exchange for Cliff Lee prior to the 2010 season.
For those asking, catching prospect Tommy Joseph is not an option. Joseph is still dealing with concussion symptioms. He could return to action in Clearwater soon before heading back to Lehigh Valley.
John Stolnis from That Ball's Outta Here perhaps said it best:
You know you've got a weak roster when you say to yourself "The Phillies can't afford to lose Erik Kratz."— John Stolnis (@FelskeFiles) June 9, 2013