Canadian catcher George Kottaras has fallen out of favour with the Milwaukee Brewers, and this time it could be for good.
The Brewers on Thursday designated the Scarborough, Ont., native for assignment subsequent to activating starting backstop Jonathan Lucroy from the disabled list.
Milwaukee general manager Doug Melvin, who hails from Chatham, Ont., has 10 days to either trade, release or waive Kottaras, who has been removed from the team’s 40-man roster.
Should he clear waivers, the fourth-year major leaguer would be outrighted to AAA Nashville.
Prior to Thursday’s move, the Brewers were believed to be shopping Kottaras, with the New York Mets and Washington Nationals reportedly potential suitors.
Kottaras, 29, lost his job to Martin Maldonado, who is batting .275 in 153 at-bats with five home runs and 19 runs batted in and will now serve as Lucroy’s backup.
An unexpected offensive contributor, Maldonado is also rated a better defensive catcher than Kottaras, who was the first player to hit for the cycle in the 2011 season on Sept. 3 at Houston’s Minute Maid Park.
Kottaras had a great April at the plate, hitting .309 with three home runs and nine RBIs in 15 games (23 at-bats) but has been in a prolonged slump that has dropped his season average to .209 in 86 at-bats with three homers and 12 RBIs.
But thanks to his 29 walks in 86 at-bats, he boasts an impressive .409 on-base percentage.
Kottaras posted a .269 average and four RBIs in nine games early last season before the Brewers sent him to the minors, only to summon him from Nashville in mid-June.
Kottaras has a .221/.326/.402 slash line in parts of five major league seasons.