Marlins likely to boast two lefty-hitting catchers

Marlins likely to boast two lefty-hitting catchers

JUPITER, Fla. -- For the most part, having a left-handed-hitting backup catcher is a nice luxury. But it can be less than ideal when your regular catcher also bats from the left side.

The Marlins find themselves with the strong possibility of carrying two lefty-hitting catchers when the season opens.

Kyle Skipworth, the 23-year-old former first-round pick, is the most likely in-house choice to be Rob Brantly's backup.

"Obviously, it's not an ideal situation to have your backup catcher be a left-handed hitter as well," manager Mike Redmond said. "We have two young guys, but that's the situation we're in. Will it change? I'm not sure. Right now, that's just where we're at."

The Marlins are in a bind with backup catching depth because veteran Jeff Mathis is out with a broken right collarbone, sustained in the team's first Spring Training game on Feb. 23.

Mathis, a right-handed batter, is striving for an early May return. Until then, the team appears ready to go with Skipworth. A major reason is he's already on the 40-man roster.

Miami may carry as many as five non-roster invitees, and the team currently is at 38 on its 40-man roster.

Skipworth has spent the past two years at Double-A Jacksonville. He's getting extensive work in Spring Training, appearing in 15 games, with 24 at-bats. A year ago in Spring Training, he had nine at-bats.

A more ideal situation for Skipworth is to play every day at Triple-A, rather than play sparingly the first month of the season. But with the team looking to address a number of needs, Skipworth's role may wind up being a big league reserve.

Joe Frisaro is a reporter for He writes a blog, called The Fish Pond. Follow him on Twitter