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George Kottaras (born May 16, 1983, in Scarborough, Ontariomarker) is a Major League Baseball catcher for the Milwaukee Brewers. Kottaras attended Milliken Mills High Schoolmarker in Markhammarker, Ontariomarker, Canadamarker.

Professional baseball career

Kottaras was drafted by the San Diego Padres in 20th round of the 2002 Major League Baseball Draft. He signed with the Padres in May after spending one year at Connors State College in Warner, Oklahomamarker.

Kottaras began his professional career playing for the Idaho Falls Padres of the Pioneer League, and worked his way up through the Padres minor league system to the Triple-A Portland Beavers in . He played in the 2006 All-Star Futures Game for Team World and was named number 48 in the 2006 Minor League News FAB50 List.

On September 5, 2006, he was traded to the Boston Red Sox to complete a August 31 deal for David Wells and was immediately added to the team's 40-man roster.

Kottaras played the entire season for the Triple-A Pawtucket Red Sox. He reported for spring training in but was optioned back to Pawtucket on March 17, 2008. Kottaras played the regular and post season 2008 schedule for Pawtucket, but after Pawtucket was eliminated from the International League playoffs he was called up to Boston.

On September 8, 2008, he was called up from Pawtucket and on September 13, 2008, he made his major league debut in the 6th inning of a game against the Toronto Blue Jays and scored the only run for the Red Sox that game.

In 2009 Kottaras became knuckleball pitcher Tim Wakefield's personal catcher; as Jason Varitek normally catches for the other pitchers in the rotation. After Wakefield went on the disabled list post All-Star Break, Kottaras followed suite with a lower back strain. He remained with Pawtucket until call ups on September 1st. With Wakefield's first start in September, Red Sox manager Terry Francona had to decide whether or not to start Kottaras due to his familiarity with Wakefield or Víctor Martínez due to his bat and making one start with Wakefield in which he caught the knuckleball very well for the first time.

Kottaras hit his first major league home run on July 3rd, 2009, against the Seattle Mariners' Mark Lowe in the bottom of the 11th.

Kottaras was released by the Red Sox on November 18. He was claimed later in the day by the Milwaukee Brewers.

2004 Olympics

In Kottaras played for Greece's national baseball team during the 2004 Summer Olympics. His eligibility came from his parents, both of whom are Greekmarker immigrants to Canada. During the Olympics, Kottaras served as first baseman and backup catcher. As one of the few members of the team that actually spoke Greek, he also served as an interpreter.

On July 21, 2004, Kottaras had three hits helping Greece come from behind to defeat Italymarker 11-7 for the team's first and only win in the tournament.

References

  1. Wakefield set to pitch tomorrow - Extra Bases
  2. Speier, Alex. Kottaras released, Cabrera elects free agency, WEEI. Published November 18, 2009. Retrieved November 18, 2009.
  3. Sports Network [1]. Published November, 18, 2009. Retrieved November 18, 2009.
  4. Witrado, Anthony. Cain and Rivas added to 40-man roster; Kottaras claimed, The Milwaukee Journal Sentinel. Published November, 18, 2009. Retrieved November 18, 2009.




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