The three-ring catcher circus is about to return to Toronto, as the Blue Jays are set to recall backstop Erik Kratz from Triple-A Buffalo. As Shi Davidi of Sportsnet reported, the move is corresponding to the team placing outfielder Cole Gillespie on the 15-day disabled list with a strained oblique muscle.
This will be Kratz’s third stint with the Blue Jays in 2014, where he’s hit a combined .221/.254/.382 with 3 home runs and 10 RBI. However, his numbers at Buffalo have been outstanding, with the big catcher posting a .316/.337/.557 slash with 3 home runs and 17 RBI. He’s been especially electric over his last 10 games, where Kratz has slashed .333/.405/.528 and put up a 5/4 BB/K ratio.
With slugger Edwin Encarnacion being placed on the disabled list earlier this week, Kratz could see time split between catcher and designated hitter. That will give the Blue Jays another strong right-handed bat in the line-up, while also allowing the team to spell catcher Dioner Navarro and using him at DH a bit more heading into the All-Star break.
As for Gillespie, the 30-year-old outfielder was claimed off waivers by the Blue Jays on July 5th, but managed to appear in just one game before suffering the oblique strain. He was hitless in 3 at-bats versus Oakland, and is now slashing .243/.300/.311 as a major leaguer in 2014.
For now, Gillespie will head to the disabled list, but I imagine his 40-man roster spot will be the first one surrendered if a need arises (read here as a trade).