Tuesday, May 12, 2009

Brewers Sign Frank Catalanotto

Here's another classic Doug Melvin move where he signs a guy that I wasn't even sure was still in the league anymore. This time the signee is Frank Catalanotto, a 35-year old outfielder that was let go by the Texas Rangers at the beginning of Spring Training this season. He'll be assigned to one of the Brewers minor league affiliates (likely Nashville), but beat writer extraordinaire Tom Haudricourt doesn't think he'll be in the minors for long:
At the time of his release, Catalanotto had the second-highest pinch-hitting average (.289) among active players. So it's easy to read between the lines and see the Brewers have a spot on their bench in mind for him. You don't sign a veteran like Catalanotto to play on one of your minor league clubs.
If/when he does make the big league roster anytime soon remains to be seen, but the Brewers could use the help. Counsell has been hitting his stride lately as a pinch-hitter and spot-starter, but other than that, the bench has contributed next to nothing. Predictably, Chris Duffy and Casey McGehee haven't lived up to their Spring Training performances. Also, Brad Nelson is lucky to still have a spot on the roster after going 0-for-20 so far this season.

Maybe this signing with help these bench guys pick things up a bit, we'll see. If not, expect Catalanotto in a Brewers uniform sooner rather than later.

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