According to Chris Cotillo, the Pittsburgh Pirates have claimed catcher Eric Fryer off waivers from the St Louis Cardinals. He hit .368/.415/.421 in 41 plate appearances over 24 games with the Cardinals this season. Fryer spent parts of the 2011-12 seasons with the Pirates. He has played a total of six seasons in the majors, though that has added up to just 89 games total over the years.

This could mean that Fryer will take the backup catcher spot of Erik Kratz, who the Pirates might be able to keep as depth assuming he clears waivers and accepts an assignment to Indianapolis. It could also mean Chris Stewart is headed to the DL. We will find out either way soon. The sample size at the plate is too small to assume Fryer will be able to hit anywhere near an .836 OPS, especially since he had a .578 OPS back in 2014 when he saw his most Major League time, and even that was only 81 plate appearances.

Fryer is a capable backup until Francisco Cervelli can return, and with the way Kratz has hit this season between Pittsburgh and Houston, it can’t hurt to try for more offense and add a catcher who is known for a strong arm as well. Fryer has thrown out four of six runners this season.

If Stewart is going on the DL to make room for Fryer, then Fryer and Kratz will likely split the catching duties since neither is considered a Major League starter. Although if Fryer hits like he did in St Louis, then he could end up seeing the bulk of time behind the plate. Either way, the Pirates catching situation looks a lot worse than it did coming into Spring Training this year.

UPDATE 4:42 PM: The Pirates have officially announced the move. To make room on the 40-man roster, Rob Scahill has been designated for assignment. A corresponding 25-man move will take place when Fryer reports to the team.

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17 COMMENTS

  1. Let me think Jacob Stallings has worked with Taillion, Kuhl and Glasnow why not just bring him up!!!! Cards letting Fryer go this way is unusual.

  2. Liriano scuffling again through 5 innings in Oakland 3 ERs in less than 5 innings so far….
    How many more starts/losses can the Pirates afford by putting Liriano out there every 5th day? Make him the long reliever, and see if he can find some success in that role for now…he’s just hurting the team now and its ridiculous this guy still gets starts, while Glasnow sits in Indy. Do you think the FO still thinks this season is salvageable or have they given up? If its the former, why would you keep starting Liriano?

    • As annoying as it is to watch Lirianos 0-2 and 1-2 counts go to full counts consistently, I would say 3 ER and 1 Walk is an improvement from him. As far as I can see padre, the club is .500 now so no they won’t give up on their highest salary and a phantom DL stint or your bogus long relief theory isnt happening w Cole out. I believe Frankie will rebound like the 2nd half of 2014. Neises start @Sea was much more painful. Send Neise packing bc that’s the spot I see Glasnow in. Be a believer for once!

  3. It was my impression that Francisco was going to be returning to the lineup very soon perhaps there’s a rehab scheduled?
    Not so glad Scahill has to go.

    • I was assuming that as well w Cervelli but then when I think about, Ill take that bat(and any bat) over Kratz even if it was for a few games.

      Scahill DFA is a VICTORY for this bullpen right behind Luebke! He should’ve been cut w him! ADIOS!

    • Scahill had his opportunities and has not done well enough to deserve a permanent spot in the bullpen. Not to mention he is on the older side at this juncture to still be considered a prospect. So no real loss.

  4. Fantastic news if confirmed! I was very disappointed when the Pirates let Fryer walk years ago. Definite upgrade on Kratz at and behind the plate.

  5. Sounds like Kratz and Fryer are both better at throwing out baserunners…I’d vote for the DL for Stewart…

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