Erik Kratz may find himself on the outside looking in

There hasn’t been a question on who will be the Brewers’ starting catcher when the team breaks camp since the day they signed Yasmani Grandal. Who ends up being the second catcher on the roster Adrian Beltre Jersey , however, was a different story.On the first day of workouts for pitchers and catchers, it looks like last year’s primary starter currently holds that spot. Speaking to reporters today, manager Craig Counsell said the players have been told that as of now, Manny Pina is second on the team’s catching depth chart, and Erik Kratz is third.Things may change as camp goes on, but heading into his age-39 season, Kratz appears to know what’s likely to happen. Still Nolan Ryan Jersey , it looks like he’s showing the same down-to-Earth sensibility that made him a bit of a cult hero during the Brewers’ playoff run last year:As Tom Haudricourt notes in a later tweet, Kratz signed a one-year deal with the Brewers in the offseason that would pay him $1.2 million in the majors and $300,000 in the minors, but Kratz is out of options, meaning the Brewers would have to pass him through waivers if they hope to keep him in the system. But even if Kratz does make it to San Antonio, his chances for playing time don’t look to be significant, as the organization likely wants to see Jacob Nottingham get as much playing time as possible in hopes of seeing him in Milwaukee once Grandal eventually moves on.Kratz hit .236/.280/.355 for the Brewers with a 69 OPS+ in the regular season but was an asset behind the plate with his pitch-framing ability, and was a big part of the Brewers’ NLDS sweep of the Colorado Rockies by going 5-for-8 with 2 RBI. The organization may be hoping he’d be willing to be a mentor for Nottingham at the Triple-A level Rougned Odor Jersey , helping the catching prospect with his receiving skills in a sort of player-coach role similar to the way Tim Dillard was used in Triple-A over the past few years.Pina seems to be taking the demotion back to being a backup catcher about as well as can be expected, too. It’s not a role that’s foreign to him as that’s what he was before the past year-and-a-half or so, but it still has to be disappointing on a personal level after having finally won a starting job — even if he knows professionally it’s best for the team.Pina consistently fought the injury bug last year in his first full year as the team’s starting catcher, and actually ended up playing in fewer games than he did in 2017 for that reason. Still, he was able to hit .252/.307/.395 with his usual strong defense behind the plate. You could do a lot worse for your backup backstop, and there’s a chance he could return to a regular starting role in 2020 if Nottingham isn’t considered quite ready at that point.Realistically, it doesn’t seem like the catching depth chart will change much over the next few weeks. The Brewers are not the type of organization that would take a few hot weeks by a 38-year-old catcher and use that as a major factor in their decision-making process (or, maybe more accurately , they aren’t that type of organization anymore). Judging by his comments, Kratz seems to know that as well.Statistics courtesy of Baseball-Reference Minnesota, on Monday morning, unsurprisingly."WhiteFanposts Fanshots Sections Twinkie Town Farm ReportSatire, Irreverence, & Other HumorGame RecapsMonday Morning Minnesota: Cruz and KeplerNew,24commentsMinnesota, on Monday morning Russell Wilson Jersey , unsurprisingly. ESTShareTweetShareShareMonday Morning Minnesota: Cruz and KeplerI’m sorry to announce that this will NOT be my last piece here and you doofs are stuck with me for the foreseeable future. Better click some links!Nelson Cruz saw the Twins as a good landing spot while playing against them last year, per Phil Miller of the Strib. The ageless wonder seems like a really fun guy who may just become a fan favorite. According to Ken Rosenthal (subscrip needed yo) he even turned down longer offers to play with the Twinkies.You might have already heard, but the Twins DFA-ed pitcher Aaron Slegers. The 6’10” Slegers presumably felt lost after the retirement of fellow tall person Joe Mauer.Ty Bradley for MLBTR looked at three remaining needs for each AL Central team. You might have guessed a lot of those needs are acquire pitching pitchers who pitch, but also keeping Max Kepler around is key.Speaking of Max, Jim Chatterton of Pitcher List takes a deep dive on Kepler. A lot of people think him poised for a breakthrough and the interest of other teams in acquiring him seems to back that up. I assume that means he’ll be traded for some prospect that never pan’s out and immediately become an All-Star for his new team.Oh and by the way Willians Astudillo had an MVP caliber season (in Venezuela) and is up against who else but Delmon Young in the voting. Funny world. Today’s soundtrack is Windwaker. Have a good week!

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