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Erik Kratz

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April 9, 2013 | By Matt Gelb, Inquirer Staff Writer
The cameras first surrounded Erik Kratz, who said he was "disappointed" when he arrived Monday at Citizens Bank Park and did not see his name in the lineup. Then the pack shuffled to the other side of the Phillies clubhouse to question Humberto Quintero. All the while, Roy Halladay, Cliff Lee, and Cole Hamels stared as the two catchers were interviewed. Halladay, immersed in preparation for his start, raised his head from his notes and sneered. The players may have viewed it as a media concoction, but the melodrama Monday was set in motion by Halladay's words five days earlier.
SPORTS
April 9, 2013 | By Marc Narducci, Inquirer Staff Writer
When the Phillies entered the bottom of the ninth inning Sunday trailing the Kansas City Royals, 9-4, the last thing anyone expected was a dramatic ending. But after Jimmy Rollins' three-run shot and Laynce Nix's pinch-hit RBI single cut the lead to 9-8, the game's final at-bat had plenty of pitches and drama. Erik Kratz finally struck out on a 1-2 change-up and the Royals prevailed, but the Phillies catcher battled righthander Kelvin Herrera. The reliever displayed both gas and a nasty change-up.
SPORTS
September 8, 2012 | By Matt Gelb, Inquirer Staff Writer
Eleven days ago, Erik Kratz pointed his white, 1998 Honda Accord toward Harrisonburg, Va., and started the 270-mile drive home. "It's still a good ride," Kratz said of the car, which has taken him about 190,000 miles to and from obscurity. He thought about his wife, who is expecting the couple's third child in October. He thought about how he would spend the day away from baseball. He thought about how grateful he was, and then it hit him. "I drove down some familiar roads," Kratz said.
SPORTS
September 5, 2015 | By Jake Kaplan, Inquirer Staff Writer
NEW YORK - It's customary each September that when rosters expand for the season's final month, major-league teams add a third catcher to their rosters. Formerly a fan favorite, the catcher the Phillies summoned to join them in New York this week garnered a bit more attention than the usual No. 3 backstop. Erik Kratz will not play much in his second go-round with the Phillies. The journeyman's role on the field will be mostly that of a pinch-hitter. But the 35-year old Telford native and former turkey bacon spokesman adds another veteran presence to an increasingly youthful clubhouse.
SPORTS
August 26, 2012 | By Matt Gelb, Inquirer Staff Writer
The cruelty of a lost season in Philadelphia has benefited Erik Kratz, a journeyman catcher almost elevated to cult status. Now, for the first time in his career, Kratz is an everyday player in the majors. The Phillies placed Brian Schneider on the disabled list Friday with a strained hamstring, ending a platoon behind the plate. It's Kratz's job for the foreseeable future. "I think it's good for Kratzy," manager Charlie Manuel said. "I think he can handle that. I think that he can do it. I said before that we can beat him up. " To replace Schneider on the roster, the Phillies dipped into double-A Reading for Steven Lerud, a 27-year-old with only nine career triple-A games and zero time in the majors.
SPORTS
February 20, 2014 | By David Murphy, Daily News Staff Writer
CLEARWATER, Fla. - The three scariest words in sports are probably, "We signed Bynum. " But a close runner-up is "Dr. James Andrews. " At least, that is, among major league baseball players, a group to whom Jeremy Horst still considers himself a member, even if much of the rest of the world has forgotten. When you consider Andrews' reputation, Horst's anonymity this spring makes some sense. The 28-year-old lefty visited the renowned elbow specialist last July after a monthlong stay on the disabled list failed to reduce the pain in his pitching arm. And because Andrews' name has such a close mental association with "12 to 18 months," it might surprise some people to learn that Horst not only threw off a mound Friday afternoon, but looked sharp doing so. "My thoughts right now are just come in, handle the things I can control and pitch well," Horst said.
SPORTS
May 20, 2005 | THE INQUIRER
TRENTON - The New Hampshire Fisher Cats got home runs from Maikel Jova and Erik Kratz as well as seven strong innings from Shaun Marcum in a 6-2 win over Trenton last night in the Eastern League. The loss snapped the Thunder's four-game winning streak. Trenton's runs came on homers by Shelly Duncan, who has 10 this season and four in four games. Binghamton 6, Reading 0 READING - Brian Bannister allowed five hits over seven innings and struck out five as the Mets beat the Phillies in the Eastern League.
SPORTS
November 13, 2010
The Phillies have begun signing their annual batch of minor league free agents, players who are projected to start the season at Triple A to serve as inventory in case of injuries at the major league level. Among the players who have signed are utility infielder Pete Orr, lefthanded reliever Eddie Bonine and catcher Erik Kratz. Orr saw action with the Braves and Nationals from 2005-09, hitting .260 with a .287 on-base percentage and .335 slugging percentage in 555 plate appearances.
SPORTS
December 6, 2013 | By Ryan Lawrence, Daily News Staff Writer
HEADING INTO the offseason, Phillies general manager Ruben Amaro Jr. said catching was a top priority. In the span of 3 weeks, he has signed two free-agent catchers. After re-signing starter Carlos Ruiz a week before Thanksgiving, Amaro signed a backup for the veteran in the form of Wil Nieves. The 36-year-old Nieves is a career .242 hitter in 10 big-league seasons with the Padres, Yankees, Nationals, Brewers, Rockies and Diamondbacks. The Phillies signed Nieves to a 1-year deal.
SPORTS
December 6, 2012 | By Bob Brookover, Inquirer Staff Writer
NASHVILLE - The last time Charlie Manuel arrived at spring training on the final year of a contract, his agent, Pat Rooney, negotiated a two-year extension with the Phillies. The final year of that extension is 2013, but there is zero indication the Phillies are interested in negotiating another extension with the most successful manager in franchise history. Manuel turns 69 next month, and this will be his ninth season as manager. Many believe the Phillies promoted Manuel's successor when Ryne Sandberg was added to the coaching staff after last season, but general manager Ruben Amaro Jr. denied that was the case in October.
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SPORTS
October 9, 2015 | BY RYAN LAWRENCE, Daily News Staff Writer rlawrence@phillynews.com
VETERAN RELIEVER Justin De Fratus and starting pitcher Jonathan Pettibone were among seven players the Phillies outrighted off their roster yesterday afternoon. De Fratus and Pettibone were the only homegrown players among the seven with whom the team cut ties. The others outrighted were infielder Chase d'Arnaud, outfielder Jordan Danks, catcher Erik Kratz and lefthanders Ken Roberts and Adam Loewen. De Fratus, Loewen and Kratz - all eligible for salary arbitration this winter - can immediately become free agents.
SPORTS
September 5, 2015 | By Jake Kaplan, Inquirer Staff Writer
NEW YORK - It's customary each September that when rosters expand for the season's final month, major-league teams add a third catcher to their rosters. Formerly a fan favorite, the catcher the Phillies summoned to join them in New York this week garnered a bit more attention than the usual No. 3 backstop. Erik Kratz will not play much in his second go-round with the Phillies. The journeyman's role on the field will be mostly that of a pinch-hitter. But the 35-year old Telford native and former turkey bacon spokesman adds another veteran presence to an increasingly youthful clubhouse.
SPORTS
September 3, 2015 | BY JEFF NEIBURG, Daily News Staff Writer neiburj@phillynews.com
NEW YORK - About 3 1/2 hours before first pitch last night, Erik Kratz snuck up behind Carlos Ruiz and wrapped his arms around the 5-10 catcher's chest. The 6-4 Kratz lifted Ruiz off the ground before putting him back on his feet. Ruiz turned around and smiled before the teammates, reunited again, shook hands and hugged. "You get to play with guys, you appreciate them as players," Kratz said. "A fan, they appreciate them as players. But, as teammates, you get to see what kind of men people are. You get to see what kind of person somebody is, day in and day out. The real person shines.
SPORTS
May 9, 2014 | BY RYAN LAWRENCE, Daily News Staff Writer rlawrence@phillynews.com
TORONTO - On Monday, J.A. Happ attempted to revive his starting pitching career with five scoreless innings in Toronto's shutout win over the Phillies. On Tuesday, Cole Hamels was roughed up for the second time in his first three starts, adding another dose to a season that already began with uncertainty and skepticism surrounding the highest-paid player in franchise history. After getting swept in the home half of their four-game, home-and-home interleague series with the Blue Jays, the Phillies had to be hoping better things awaited them in the Great White North.
SPORTS
May 9, 2014 | By Matt Gelb, Inquirer Staff Writer
TORONTO - Cliff Lee, permitted a moment of contemplation Wednesday before his removal, placed his hands on his hips. For six innings, he fired fastballs at a frenetic tempo in a duel with Mark Buehrle that defied the modern game's pace. Now, his boss demanded the ball in the middle of a riotous seventh. Lee flipped it from his left hand. He dashed to the visitors' dugout at Rogers Centre with a disaster behind him. "I don't know what happened," Lee said after a 10-0 defeat. "They just started squaring everything up. " The Toronto Blue Jays bludgeoned the Phillies for nine runs in the seventh and cruised to their third straight victory over the Phillies.
SPORTS
March 6, 2014 | By Matt Gelb, Inquirer Staff Writer
CLEARWATER, Fla. - Three days after Erik Kratz was traded from his hometown Phillies to the Toronto Blue Jays, the team that originally drafted him, he wondered about his vacation plans. "Wait a minute," Kratz recalled. "I said yes to the cruise thing. " The Phillies asked Kratz last summer to attend their annual fan trip with Domonic Brown and former players Tommy Greene and Greg Luzinski. But he was dealt to Toronto on Dec. 3 for reliever Brad Lincoln, a transaction that surprised Kratz.
SPORTS
March 5, 2014 | By David Murphy, Daily News Staff Writer
PORT CHARLOTTE, Fla. - One of the first names out of Ryne Sandberg's mouth yesterday afternoon was that of a 36-year-old who has tallied more than 100 major league plate appearances in a season four times, 200 major league plate appearances in a season twice, and who has a frame that looks more like a utility infielder's. Meet Wil Nieves, the Phillies' backup catcher, a man who might print his resume in landscape mode, its breadth far exceeding its depth. A veteran of eight organizations, two of which never promoted him to the major leagues, the 5-11, 190-pound Puerto Rican player signed a $1.125 million contract to replace Erik Kratz as Carlos Ruiz' understudy behind the plate this season.
SPORTS
February 24, 2014 | BY RYAN LAWRENCE, Daily News Staff Writer rlawrence@phillynews.com
CLEARWATER, Fla. - Matt Stairs' majestic, go-ahead home run flirted with the palm trees beyond the ballpark at Chavez Ravine before finding a resting place deep in the upper rightfield bleachers at Dodger Stadium. Three batters earlier, Lou Marson winced as another home run - of the line-drive variety - nearly grazed his helmet. Before Stairs' famous shot off Jonathan Broxton, Shane Victorino tied Game 4 of the 2008 National League Championship Series with his own, two-run home run off Cory Wade.
SPORTS
February 20, 2014 | By David Murphy, Daily News Staff Writer
CLEARWATER, Fla. - The three scariest words in sports are probably, "We signed Bynum. " But a close runner-up is "Dr. James Andrews. " At least, that is, among major league baseball players, a group to whom Jeremy Horst still considers himself a member, even if much of the rest of the world has forgotten. When you consider Andrews' reputation, Horst's anonymity this spring makes some sense. The 28-year-old lefty visited the renowned elbow specialist last July after a monthlong stay on the disabled list failed to reduce the pain in his pitching arm. And because Andrews' name has such a close mental association with "12 to 18 months," it might surprise some people to learn that Horst not only threw off a mound Friday afternoon, but looked sharp doing so. "My thoughts right now are just come in, handle the things I can control and pitch well," Horst said.
SPORTS
December 7, 2013 | By Marc Narducci, Inquirer Staff Writer
Phillies general manager Ruben Amaro Jr. said after trading catcher Erik Kratz to Toronto earlier in the week that the Phillies were looking for an upgrade defensively at the position. The Phillies believe they improved in that area Thursday after the expected signing of 36-year-old free-agent catcher Wil Nieves to a one-year contract. Nieves, who played last season for the Arizona Diamondbacks, is expected to be the backup to Carlos Ruiz. Last season Nieves threw out 5 of 18 baserunners (27.8 percent)
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