Saturday, March 23, 2013

Erik Kratz Powers Phillies over Braves; Alcides Escobar Scores 4 as Royals Keep Winning

Players of the Day for Friday, March 22, 2013

Grapefruit League

Kratz, 3-4, HR, 3RBI
Phillies' catcher Erik Kratz isn't exactly a household name, but the Atlanta Braves got to know him a little better on Friday, as the journeyman receiver went 3-for-4 with a pair of doubles, his second homer of the Spring, three RBI and two runs as the Phillies slipped past the Braves, 7-6.

At 12-13, the Phillies aren't exactly tearing up the Grapefruit League, but Kratz, who's spent a decade in the minor league, is making an impression that could land him the backup job behind starter Carlos Ruiz.

Kratz played in 50 games for the Phillies last season, technically making him a second year major leaguer, but those ten years of minor league play have given him experience at the plate and behind it, handling pitchers of all variety.

Cactus League

Escobar: 2-2, 4R
Kansas City continues to amaze fans in Arizona, leading the Cactus League by 1 1/2 games with a 19-6 record.

On Friday, the Royals did it again, winning their second straight, with a 14-hit attack that resulted in a 13-9 victory over the Angels.

Alcides Escobar, the likely starter at short when the regular season starts, didn't club any homers or drive in any runs, but he did reach base safely four times - two walks and two singles in two official at-bats - steal a base and score four runs.

Escobar, who started playing full time for the Brewers in 2010 and has been a mainstay of the Royals infield the past two seasons, really came into his own in 2012, batting .293 with 177 hits and 35 stolen bases.

Always a slick fielder, Escobar has honed his skills at the plate over the past few years, currently batting .279 in 15 Spring games.

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