Brewers Activate Jonathan Lucroy, DFA George Kottaras, Call Up Jim Henderson, Option Jeff Bianchi

July 4, 2012; Milwaukee, WI, USA; Milwaukee Brewers pitcher Randy Wolf (43) and catcher George Kottaras (9) talk on the mound in the seventh inning during the game against the Miami Marlins at Miller Park. Mandatory Credit: Benny Sieu-US PRESSWIRE

While I was putting the finishing touches on this morning's Frosty Mug the Brewers answered their own "What are we going to do with all these catchers?" question.

With Jonathan Lucroy on a plane back to Milwaukee to rejoin the team tonight they've decided to designate soon-to-be third catcher George Kottaras for assignment. Kottaras was hitting .209/.409/.360 in 58 games as a Brewer this season, but only has one hit since June 23 (1-for-16) and is hitting .175/.366/.222 since May 1. He was primarily serving as Randy Wolf's personal catcher.

The decision to designate Kottaras means that Martin Maldonado likely becomes the backup catcher going forward. Maldonado played his way into the organization's short term plans by catching nearly every day while Jonathan Lucroy was out and hitting .277/.323/.405 over 162 plate appearances. He was a career .236/.313/.333 hitter over nine seasons in the minors before joining the big league roster this season, but apparently he's shown the team enough to convince them he can keep this performance up long term.

Kottaras could still have value to a team as a left-handed bench bat and backup catcher, so it's possible the Brewers will work out a trade. They have ten days to trade him, release him or put him on waivers in an effort to outright him to Nashville.

Additionally, Tom Haudricourt is reporting that the Brewers have returned shortstop Jeff Bianchi to Nashville to make room on the roster for reliever Jim Henderson, who will join the team tonight. Bianchi went 0-for-12 in his brief opportunity with the Crew and is the only shortstop on the roster with options remaining. His departure means we'll get to see more of Cody Ransom and Cesar Izturis, which should fill us all with something not resembling joy.

The Brewers' 40-man roster now stands at 39, with Kottaras coming off and Henderson going on.

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