CHICAGO, Ill., July 26, 2014 - The St. Louis Cardinals announced prior to today's game against the Chicago Cubs that they have signed veteran free-agent catcher A.J. Pierzynski and expect him to be in uniform (#35) for this afternoon's game at Wrigley Field. To make room for Pierzynski on the team's active roster, the Cardinals have designated catcher George Kottaras for assignment.
A veteran of 17 seasons in the majors, Pierzynski, 37, ranks 1st among active catchers with 1,742 of his 1,835 career games having come behind the plate. Cardinals perennial All-Star Yadier Molina is 2nd on that list having caught 1,276 games.
The left-handed hitting Pierzynski owns a career .282 batting average with 176 home runs and 831 RBI, while having played for Minnesota (1998-2003), San Francisco (2004), Chicago White Sox (2005-12), Texas (2013) and Boston (2014). His 169 career homers hit as a catcher rank 12th all-time among backstops.
Pierzynski (pronounced peer-ZIN-skee) batted .254 with 4 HR's and 31 RBI in 72 games for the Red Sox this season before being released on July 16.
The 6-3, 235-pound Pierzynski led American League catchers with a .998 fielding pct. last season and he holds the American League record for consecutive errorless chances with 962.
Pierzynski, who was a member of the White Sox 2005 World Championship team, is a two-time American League All-Star (2002 & 2006) and he was voted the American League Silver Slugger award in 2012 when he hit a career-high 27 home runs.