Opinion

Royals yet to decide between Drew Butera, Erik Kratz as backup catcher

Drew Butera has caught two games in place of Salvador Perez since the Royals acquired him as a backup catcher. The Royals will need to determine who stays as the backup catcher once Erik Kratz returns from a rehab assignment at Class AAA Omaha.
Drew Butera has caught two games in place of Salvador Perez since the Royals acquired him as a backup catcher. The Royals will need to determine who stays as the backup catcher once Erik Kratz returns from a rehab assignment at Class AAA Omaha. JSLEEZER@KCSTAR.COM

Erik Kratz boomed a home run on Friday night in his first game on a rehabilitation assignment with Class AAA Omaha. Royals manager Ned Yost on indicated Kratz would remain with the Storm Chasers at least through the weekend. Yost stopped short of declaring Kratz was still his primary backup catcher.

“He’s on a rehab right now,” Yost said before Saturday night’s game against the St. Louis Cardinals. “We’ve got Drew Butera. I’m not going to answer those questions. We’ll make a determination when Kratzy’s ready to come off his rehab.”

Both Butera and Kratz are out of options and unlikely to clear waivers. The Royals must determine if they prefer Butera’s receiving polish or Kratz’s power potential. Yost is known to favor defensive prowess with his backup catchers.

“Kratzy’s defense is good. Butera’s defense is really good,” Yost said. “Kratzy’s offensive capabilities, mostly his power, is very, very good. Butera’s a solid offensive player in terms of situational baseball.”

Kratz caught only one game in place of Salvador Perez before tearing the plantar fascia on his left foot. Butera already has caught two games. Yost could pair him with Jeremy Guthrie again on Monday afternoon when the Royals face the Yankees in New York.

Soon after that, the club will have to make a choice.

“Right now, we’ve got two really good options,” Yost said. “We have to decide which is the best option.”

To reach Andy McCullough, call 816-234-4370 or send email to rmccullough@kcstar.com. Follow him on Twitter: @McCulloughStar.

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