Kratz Could Be Phillies Opening Day Starter

CLEARWATER, Fla. (AP) -- Erik Kratz has taken an unlikely path to the major leagues.

A year ago, he was entering his 11th professional season having been in 11 major league games.

While he would have loved to break camp with the big league team then, his main objective was to keep a job in baseball.

A year later, the 32-year-old Kratz is expected to be the opening day catcher for a Philadelphia Phillies team that has a rotation led by Cole Hamels, Roy Halladay and Cliff Lee.

Promoted to the major leagues last summer when injuries hit the Phillies, Kratz impressed with his bat and glove enough to move ahead of recently retired Brian Schneider on the depth chart as the projected backup catcher this winter.


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