The Red Sox are facing many problems on the field this season, and catching has quickly become their most immediate.
After Blake Swihart went down with an injured left foot Saturday night, the Red Sox acquired veteran catcher Erik Kratz off waivers from the Royals. All Kratz had to do was switch dugouts at Kauffman Stadium, as the Red Sox added him before their game against Kansas City on Sunday.
The Royals designated the 35 year-old for assignment on June 11 after he spent time on the disabled list for plantar fasciitis. Before his time in Kansas City, Kratz caught for the Toronto Blue Jays, Philadelphia Phillies and Pittsburgh Pirates. His batting average for his six-season career is .217 with 67 RBI, 23 home runs, and an OPS of .670.
He appeared in only four games with the Royals, making only one start.
The Red Sox haven’t had the best luck with their catchers this season. Ryan Hanigan is recovering from a broken knuckle and is scheduled to begin his rehab stint in Pawtucket on Monday. Christian Vazquez, arguably the most tragic loss of the year, underwent season-ending Tommy John surgery before the season even began in April. Sandy Leon stands alone as the only healthy catcher on the 25-man roster at the moment. Mike Napoli served as the backup catcher on Sunday. Hence the need for Kratz.
Leaving his former teammates behind, Kratz will now fly with the Red Sox back to Boston to take on the Baltimore Orioles.