The Pittsburgh Pirates enter the All-Star break with a 30-58 record and six game losing streak, falling to the Milwaukee Brewers 6-5 Sunday afternoon on a Corey Hart walk off home run in the 9th.
The Pirates are 28 games under .500 at the break and 11-38 on the road.
Following today’s loss, the Pirates optioned catcher Jason Jaramillo and pitcher Justin Thomas to Triple-A Indianapolis.
The moves cleared a roster spot for Zach Duke who will rejoin the team on Friday when the team returns to action.
Indications are Duke will also be joined by 30 year old catcher Erik Kratz who will replace Jaramillo on the MLB roster. The Pirates still value Jaramillo highly and wanted to give him regular at bats.
Kratz is batting .296 with 9 home runs and 35 RBI’s in 55 games with the Indianapolis Indians.
Three scouts interviewed by Inside Pittsburgh Sports contributor John Perrotto of Baseball Prospectus, believe Kratz has the ability to contribute at the MLB level and all he needs is an opportunity.
“There is no doubt in my mind that if Kratz was in the right situation that he’d be in the major leagues right now,” one scout told Perrotto in a May interview for a feature on Inside Pittsburgh Sports . “I’m not saying he’d necessarily be a a No. 1 catcher but he can hit a little bit and he’s really good defensively, ” the scout said. “All he needs is an opportunity.”