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Marlins call up Skipworth; DL for Kotchman

Marlins call up Skipworth; DL for Kotchman

NEW YORK -- Up until the final week of Spring Training, Kyle Skipworth was building a case to be the Marlins' backup catcher.

But without any previous big-league experience, the Marlins decided to option Skipworth to Triple-A New Orleans on the final day of Spring Training. The transaction was made when veteran Miguel Olivo signed to back up Rob Brantly.

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For Skipworth, his Triple-A stint didn't last too long. On Friday, the former first-round pick was recalled after first baseman Casey Kotchman was placed on the 15-day disabled list with a left hamstring strain.

The sixth overall pick in the 2008 First-Year Player Draft, Skipworth is up in the big leagues for the first time.

A left-handed hitter, Skipworth saw considerable time in Spring Training, appearing in 17 games and getting 25 at-bats. He was in position to make the team after Jeff Mathis suffered a broken right collarbone.

Promoting Skipworth gives the Marlins three catchers, but it also provides some flexibility. To help patch up their first base vacancy, Olivo has been taking ground balls at the position as a possible fill in while Kotchman is out.

The reason the club didn't promote a first baseman was largely driven by their roster construction. Miami's at its 40-man limit, and Skipworth already was on the 40-man roster.

If the team called up someone who wasn't already on the 40-man roster, they would have had to clear a spot.

Skipworth spent the past two seasons at Double-A Jacksonville. He batted .217 with 21 homers and 63 RBIs a year ago.

Joe Frisaro is a reporter for MLB.com. He writes a blog, called The Fish Pond. Follow him on Twitter @JoeFrisaro. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.

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