Talk around Miami has mostly focused on the players dealt away from the Miami Marlins this winter, but those that the team acquired will be the ones hoping to shift the conversation once the regular season begins. One of those players, Jeff Mathis, will be slowed in his quest to win the team’s backup catcher role after breaking his collarbone in today’s Spring Training opener. He’s expected to miss at least six weeks.
Mathis was behind the plate for today’s game against the St. Louis Cardinals. During the 4th inning, Mathis took a foul ball off the bat of Cardinals left fielder Matt Holliday. Holliday would walk and take first base before Mathis would leave the game, being replaced by Kyle Skipworth. Mathis had singled in both of his at bats prior to the injury. Miami would end up winning the game, 8-3.
Rob Brantly is penciled in as the team’s likely starter behind the plate, but Mathis had been expected to fill that backup role. Mathis came to Miami as part of the package of players received from the Toronto Blue Jays in the team’s blockbuster deal in mid-November.
Mathis, 29, hit just .218/.249/.393 with 8 HR in 227 PA this past season, his first with Toronto. In an eight year career spent mostly with the Los Angeles Angels he’s a .198/.256/.314 hitter.