KC Royals: Erik Kratz To 15-Day DL; Francisco Pena To KC


KC Royals backup catcher Erik Kratz injured his foot on Sunday against the Tigers, causing the team to put him on the 15-day disabled list on Wednesday afternoon. Kansas City Royals general manager recalled 25-year-old Francisco Pena from AAA Omaha.

I don’t know about anyone else, but I can’t help but feel for poor Erik Kratz. He’s gotten all of five plate appearances in four games in 2015. In the ONE start he gets this season, he injures his foot and now goes to the DL.

Heck, the guy doesn’t even have a hit yet, and we’re a month into the season. That’s what you get when you backup Salvador Perez, who caught more games than any catcher in baseball in 2014.

Kratz’s injury opens the door for 25-year-old Francisco Pena to get a chance for some playing time in Kansas City (uhhhh….if you can call it that when he’s backing up Salvador Perez with Ned Yost as manager). Er..well…at least Pena will get to collect a few major league checks from the KC Royals.

Pena, who is the son of former KC Royals manager Tony Pena and the brother of former Royals shortstop Tony Pena, Jr., became an interesting player last season after he crashed 27 home runs at age 24 for AAA Omaha. Pena had not hit more than 9 home runs in a season before 2014.

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Was Francisco Pena’s power outburst a one-year fluke? Or did he suddenly discover his power stroke?

The more interesting question is if he’ll show similar power for the KC Royals.

However, I’m not too excited by Francisco Pena, just mildly interested. While he did slam 27 dingers in AAA last season, the Pacific Coast League is an offensive league. Second, his slash line was still only a good, not great, .240/.280/.515 with 27 home runs in 370 plate appearances.

This season, Pena has a similar batting average and OBP (on base percentage) without the power (.239/.282/.343 with 1 home run in 73 plate appearances).

Royals Review’s Max Reiper quoted KC Royals personnel director J.J. Piccolo about Frnacisco Pena when the team acquired him in November of 2013:

"“He’s currently playing in the Dominican Winter League and he’s really catching exceptionally well. He’s got a good feel for the game, he’s a smart kid. Defensively, we think he’s well above average and offensively he’s put up some solid numbers. And he’s still young.”"

The Royals did briefly call up Francisco Pena late last season, but he only appeared in one game and did not get an at bat.

Let’s hope that Pena can log some time behind the plate over the next two weeks, not only for his sake but for Salvador Perez’s as well. Overusing Perez in 2015 after his second half slide in 2014 would be beyond stupid.

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