The New York Mets have invited German catcher Kai Gronauer to the Major League spring training camp. The 23-year-old will wear number 72 and is among 25 non-roster invitees, which will report to the training facilities in Port St. Lucie, Florida these days besides the regular 40-man roster. He is one of eight catchers in camp. How long he will stay also depends if the Mets will sign free agent Rod Barajas.
Gronauer played his first full season of minor league ball last year, batting .242 (OBP .294/SLG .352) with six homeruns, 27 runs and 23 RBI in 67 games for the Savannah Sand Gnats in the South Atlantic League (Single-A). He also was a member of the German national team during the Baseball World Cup, starting all three games behind plate.
It is going to be a great opportunity to pick up the brains from veteran catchers Henry Blanco and Chris Coste. Besides the two, Omir Santos and Josh Thole will battling for the starting role as catcher for the Mets this year. Other backstops in camp are Mike Nickeas, Francisco Pena and Shawn Riggans.
Photo: © Gregor Eisenhuth www.eisenhuth-photographie.de