Brad Lincoln has been a plug, there is no other way to put it. In 22 games for Toronto last season he had a 7.1 K/9 and a shoddy 6.3 BB/9. He was essentially worthless to the organization until tonight when Alex Anthopoulos turned him into backup catcher Erik Kratz and reliever Rob Rasmussen. Kratz was a former long time Blue Jays farmhand and rejoins the team that originally drafted him.
Only a day after appeasing a Blue Jays fan base that had grown increasingly frustrated with catcher JP Arencibia by signing Dioner Navarro the team now adds another useful backstop in Kratz. Kratz, who will turn 34 in June was actually very underrated in 2012 as he posted a 248/306/504 slash line and 1.3 WAR in only 50 games. He is known as a solid defender and will be a great compliment to Navarro and a guy who can hit lefties off the bench as a pinch-hitter.
Kratz slipped in 2013 as injuries took their toll but Steamer still projects a .312 wOBA and 95 wRC+ over 165 PAs next season s – probably conservative projections. It cost us nothing and will definitely help our overall depth and bench. Two areas that were in dire need of improvement.
Rob Rasmussen is turning 25 years old and has shown some promise in the past however it is doubtful he contributes anything to the major league roster at any point. He was a starter last season during stints in AA/AAA with mixed results. Rasmussen combined to post a 4.11 ERA with 7.5 K/9 and 4.0 BB/9 in 28 games (24 starts) for the Dodgers Triple-A and Double-A affiliates.
I think this was a solid addition for the Blue Jays at basically no cost. Kratz has shown the ability to mash (in small sample sizes) in the past and will compete with Josh Thole for the backup catcher spot.