Indians George Kottaras Stars In A Debut To Remember


Veteran Backstop Blasts A Pair Of Homers In Debut

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George Kottaras signed a minor league contract with the Cleveland Indians at the end of March after being released by the Chicago Cubs.

Kottaras wasn’t the clubs first choice to provide veteran depth at the catching position as they had signed Matt Treanor.

A third catcher was needed since the only two catchers on the clubs 40-man roster were Yan Gomes and Carlos Santana.

If the move of Santana to third base  or an injury to either of the duo were to strike the team a backup catcher may have been needed sooner rather than later.

Unfortunately, Treanor hurt his hamstring during spring training and after a setback during his recovery with his wife expecting the couples first child he chose to step away from the field (he officially retired on May 8th).

Kottaras appeared in just nine games with the Indians Triple-A affiliate Columbus Clippers before being recalled on May 3rd to serve as Carlos Santana’s backup while Yan Gomes was away from the club for paternity leave.

On May 4th he was inserted into the Indians starting lineup batting ninth and became the first Cleveland Indians player in the franchise history to hit home runs in each of his first two appearances with the club.

Neither he or the Indians fans were able to fully embrace his accomplishment as John Axford walked a pair of White Sox in front of Dayan Viciedo who delivered a 3-run homer in the top of the ninth to defeat the Indians 4-3.

After the game Kottaras was designated for assignment as Gomes was returning and the team tabbed Josh Tomlin as the starter to replace Carlos Carrasco who was moving to the bullpen.

He returned to the Indians on May 27th when Carlos Santana was placed on the 7-day concussion list. To make room on the 40-man roster the team designated Blake Wood for assignment.

His second stint with the Indians lasted slight longer but between his recall on May 27th and July 5th he only appeared in 9 games garnering 23 plate appearances but did add his third home run of the season.

On July 7th the Indians the Indians needed room on their roster for outfielder Chris Dickerson and designated Kottaras for assignment for a second time. This time he was claimed by the St. Louis Cardinals who had just lost starting catcher Yadier Molina to injury.

Kottaras hit well in limited action (27 plate appearances) for the Tribe during the season, slashing .286/.385/.714 with 3 home runs and 4 runs batted in.

His time in St. Louis was brief logging only six plate appearances before being released on July 27th to make way for the acquisition of catcher A.J. Pierzynski.

He signed a minor league contract with the Toronto Blue Jays and reported to their Triple-A affiliate Buffalo Bisons and was recalled by the Jays on September 2nd finishing the season appearing in three games. On October 3rd the Blue Jays officially outrighted him off their 40-man roster making him a free agent.