The St. Louis Cardinals needed another catcher after losing All-Star Yadier Molina for eight to 12 weeks with a torn thumb ligament. They filled that void Friday, when they claimed George Kottaras off waivers.
Kottaras, a former Red Sox, hit .235 in 48 games for Boston during the 2008 and 2009 seasons. The 31-year-old is a career backup who never has started more than 85 games in one season with the Red Sox, Milwaukee Brewers, Oakland A’s, Kansas City Royals and Cleveland Indians.
Kottaras’ .216 career batting average is nothing to write home about, but his slugging and on-base percentages have allowed him to be a capable backup in the big leagues. Kottaras owns a solid .741 OPS and has compiled an OPS higher than .700 in each season since 2010.
Kottaras had three home runs in 10 games with the Indians this season before being designated for assignment to make room for outfielder Chris Dickerson.
Molina’s production in the middle of the Cardinals’ lineup will be missed, but Kottaras should help bridge the gap until the All-Star returns.
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