The Royals will choose a backup catcher, either Drew Butera or Erik Kratz, on Wednesday, manager Ned Yost said before Tuesday’s game against the Twins.
Tuesday marked the final day Kratz could play for Class AAA Omaha on his 20-day rehabilitation assignment. The Royals traded for Butera shortly after Kratz tore the plantar fascia in his left foot in May. They appear intent on keeping Butera, which means they would have to either trade Kratz or designate him for assignment.
While Kratz toiled in the minors, Butera drew a more curious assignment. He threw batting practice to the group of players’ dads accompanying the team on this trip. The Royals are hosting their fathers on a road trip for the third consecutive year. The parents took their hacks a couple hours before their sons did the same.
“The star was the B.P. pitcher, Drew Butera,” manager Ned Yost said.
To Yost, Butera represented a marked improvement over last year’s pitcher, broadcaster Rex Hudler. Hudler did not exactly flood the zone with strikes. Butera did so.
“Huge upgrade,” Yost said. “Huge upgrade. Much better.”
Butera has pitched in three different games in his major-league career. His more useful skill is his receiving, which the Royals are believed to favor over the ability of Kratz. Butera also possesses a stronger arm. These factors are expected to lead the club toward choosing him as their backup to Salvador Perez.