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Brantly embraces new role with Marlins

Brantly embraces new role with Marlins

JUPITER, Fla. -- A year ago, Rob Brantly was the Marlins' Opening Day catcher.

Entering Spring Training this season, the 24-year-old understands he is a long shot to be on the 25-man roster.

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Miami's catcher situation is pretty much set with the free-agent signing of Saltalamacchia and veteran backup Jeff Mathis.

The way Brantly is handling his situation, he isn't thinking of himself as the No. 3 choice. He sees himself taking the steps it takes to improve his overall game.

"My situation is the same as always, just take advantage of the opportunities that are given to you," Brantly said. "The rest will fall into place."

In 2013, Brantly had his struggles in the batter's box and behind the plate. He batted .211 in 67 games and after struggling early, he was optioned to Triple-A New Orleans, where he hit .186 in 20 games.

A left-handed hitter, Brantly showed promise with the Marlins late in the 2012 season, batting .290 in 31 games.

This spring, he plans to gather as much insight from Saltalamacchia and Mathis as possible.

"Like any player, you always have to be a student of the game," Brantly said. "You've always got to try to learn and better yourself, and do what you need to do to better prepare yourself for the season. I plan on learning from both of them as much as I can this spring."

Brantly, a high-energy personality, feels experience will help slow the game down for him.

"You get the adrenaline going, you get excited," Brantly said. "The anticipation builds. But the more experience you get, the better. For me, coming into this spring, I have a good idea of how it's going to go and how my spring will go to be prepared."

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