It's been a long road for Kratz, who was one of the Pirates' final cuts of Spring Training this year, losing the backup catcher job to Jason Jaramillo with a few days left in camp in Lakeland, Fla. -- mostly because Jaramillo was on the 40-man roster and Kratz was a non-roster invitee.
On Monday Pittsburgh optioned Jaramillo -- who was hitting .164 in 24 games for the Pirates this year -- to Indianapolis, clearing the way for Kratz to realize his lifelong goal.
"I don't know what to say," Kratz said. "It means the world to me and my family."
With Indianapolis this season, Kratz was batting .296 with nine home runs and 37 RBIs, as well as a .396 on-base percentage. To clear space on the 40-man roster, the team is expected to place minor league starter Chris Jakubauskas on the 60-day disabled list.