Struggling Mathis catches another young hurler

Struggling Mathis catches another young hurler

MIAMI -- Catcher Jeff Mathis was in the Marlins' lineup for a second straight day to work with rookie right-hander Jose Fernandez on Saturday. Mathis caught right-hander Jacob Turner in Friday night's 5-1 victory.

Turner pitched seven scoreless innings with Mathis behind the plate.

"I like him catching a couple of our younger guys," manager Mike Redmond said. "It's more comforting, I think, for our younger pitchers. Not that [Rob] Brantly can't do it.

"Over the course of my years, I think a veteran catcher with a young pitcher, especially a guy who can tend to get a little excited out there, I think it's a nice, calming influence. I like that right now for Fernandez."

Mathis made his season debut on May 16 against the Reds after suffering a broken right clavicle during Spring Training. He was hit by a foul tip during the Marlins' Grapefruit League opener against the Cardinals on March 23 in Jupiter, Fla.

The 30-year-old has slumped at the plate since his return, notching only one base hit in 22 at-bats entering Saturday.

In Friday's win against the Mets, Mathis came up short with the bases loaded in the sixth, grounding into an inning-ending double play.

He managed to redeem himself one inning later, plating Marcell Ozuna from third with a sacrifice fly for Miami's second run in a four-run seventh.

"We need to get this guy in some games. We need to get him some at-bats," Redmond said. "I've seen this guy hit. I know he can produce.

"I know you look at his numbers over his career and you say, 'Oh, well, this guy's a whatever hitter.' But I've played against him and I know he can hit. I know he's got some power, but we'll never see it if we don't get him some games."

While Redmond wants to get Mathis more involved, he said not to expect any changes to the everyday lineup.

"Brantly's still our catcher," Redmond said. "Brantly's still going to do the majority of the catching, but I want to get [Mathis] going a little bit, too."

Joe Morgan is an associate reporter for MLB.com. Joe Frisaro is a reporter for MLB.com. He writes a blog, called The Fish Pond. Follow him on Twitter