With an open spot at the time on their 40-man roster, the Los Angeles Dodgers acquired Drew Butera from the Minnesota Twins in July of 2013. With A.J. Ellis firmly entrenched as the starting catcher and Ramon Hernandez and Tim Federowicz also on the roster, there didn’t figure to be much room for Butera to play in 2013 and that’ll likely carry over to 2014.
2013 stats (majors): Six appearances, .100 batting average, one hit, five strikeouts, 18 putouts.
2013 stats (minors): 43 games, .187 batting average, 26 hits, two home runs, 13 RBIs, .228 on-base percentage, .281 slugging percentage, 54% caught stealing.
2013 didn’t hold many significant accomplishments for Butera, both at the minor league and big league levels. Butera had eight plate appearances in four games before he recorded his first hit with the Dodgers in an 11-0 win over the Colorado Rockies on Sept. 27.
Incidentally, Butera’s minor league splits reveal the catcher had a higher batting average against lefties, .154, than he did against right handers, .128. In 33 plate appearances across 10 home games, Butera hit .152 with five hits, two doubles, one triple and three RBIs. Much of Butera’s production came on Aug. 21 when he had a double, triple and two RBIs.
While Butera certainly was far from a prolific hitter with the Albuquerque Isotopes, he struggled mightily when he fell behind in the count. In such cases, Butera hit a lowly .071 with seven strikeouts. When Butera managed to get ahead in the count, he had a respectable .271 batting average with four hits, two of which were doubles.
The sample size for identical splits as a member of the Dodgers is much smaller, but Butera failed to record a hit off a left-handed pitcher in the big leagues during the 2013 season. His career MLB batting average against left handers is .173 and.175 against right handers.
2014 projection: Butera doesn’t figure to jump Federowicz for the backup catcher’s role, but should the Dodgers option Butera, he would have to clear waivers in order to reach their Triple-A affiliate. However, if Butera reaches Triple-A, he would presumably have to battle veteran catcher Miguel Olivo for a spot behind the plate with the Isotopes.
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