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Other Valuable Brewers: George Kottaras

George Kottaras gets a headache thinking about the concept of "personal catchers," just like we do.
George Kottaras gets a headache thinking about the concept of "personal catchers," just like we do.

There are two things you'll remember about George Kottaras from 2011: that he was Randy Wolf's unofficial personal catcher and he hit for the cycle (Three, if you're one of our female readers and you saw this video that featured his pecs at 1:26).

The problem with Kottaras being Wolf's personal catcher is that it often coincided with him facing a lefty at the plate and he's pretty awful against LHP. Like .174/.208/.304 awful. Whereas Jonathan Lucroy has hit .288/.313/.494 over his career against LHP.

Kottaras has just a 14% caught stealing rate meaning the Brewers were a little concerned about his defense - so much so that they sent him down in late April, keeping Wil Nieves on the roster when Jonathan Lucroy returned from the DL. The Nieves trial lasted til mid-July, when Kottaras was brought back from Nashville.

Ron Roenicke wasn't as scared to use Kottaras as a bat off the bench as other managers have been and he often used Kottaras as a pinch hitter late in games. His best PH appearance of the season came on July 2, when he came on as a pinch-hitter in the 9th and drove in the game-winning run. The Brewers had been down 7-0 in the game and scored four in the ninth to rally to win 8-7 over the Twins.

Contract Status: Kottaras made $440,000 last year and is first-year arbitration eligible. MLB Trade Rumors is predicting him to receive $800,000 through arbitration.

Best Game: Just seven Brewers in history have hit for the cycle and the last three have been bench players - Chad Moeller, Jody Gerut and on September 3, George Kottaras. Coincidentally, it was the first four-hit game of Kottaras' career.

Kottaras was able to get the cycle thanks to the deep center field at Houston's Minute Maid Park - in another stadium, it would've likely been a three home-run game, a separate, but not as highly-celebrated, feat. His triple knocked around on Tal's hill and his single hit at the base of the wall and hopped over for a ground-rule, otherwise it wouldn't have been a double.

It was also notable because Kottaras started, but Randy Wolf wasn't the pitcher. Roenicke loaded the lineup with lefties against Bud Norris, so Kottaras got the start over Jonathan Lucroy.