Brantly going through growing pains

Brantly going through growing pains

PHILADELPHIA -- More than anyone in the Marlins' dugout, manager Mike Redmond understands the challenges Rob Brantly is going through.

A 13-year catcher in the big leagues, Redmond is seeing Brantly going through some ups and downs.

"There are some days where he's looked really good, and he's had a couple of rough days, too," Redmond said. "Days where his receiving is a little bit shaky, and he seems a little bit unsure, and we have to take a few extra trips to the mound.

"Believe me, I think about this all the time, being a catcher. He's 23 years old. There is a lot that goes into being an everyday catcher in the big leagues."

It's worth noting that Redmond made his MLB debut at age 27. Brantly, acquired from the Tigers last July, has a total of 50 big league games and 438 total innings of catching under his belt.

"He needs to take charge. That's hard for a kid who is 23 years old," Redmond said. "He's learning every night. We talk about a lot of these guys learning day to day."

Brantly is getting a couple of days to rest a cut on his right index finger. The incident occurred a few days ago, and Miguel Olivo started behind the plate on Saturday night and Sunday afternoon.

There are so many demands on catchers. They have to stay on top of the pitcher, call the game, understand opposing hitters, while also setting up their own team's defense. On top of that, they have to stay focused on their responsibilities behind the plate.

Brantly has three passed balls this year. He also has thrown out five runners who have attempted to steal off him.

Offensively, Brantly is a left-handed hitter with upside. He batted .290 in 100 at-bats a year ago.

Now playing regularly, he is scuffling a bit, batting .218 in 78 at-bats with seven doubles and nine RBIs.

"He's got a lot of responsibility," Redmond said. "There are some nights where he looks really comfortable back there and some nights there isn't. That's kind of where we're at."

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