The Miami Marlins acquired catcher Rob Brantly and second baseman Derek Dietrich from the Detroit Tigers in the middle of last season in a trade that sent Anibal Sanchez packing. Brantly was a top prospect in the Tigers’ organization and he was bound to make it to the Marlins’ 25-man roster eventually.
Brantly made it up to the full-time roster last season when John Buck was starting to deteriorate even more. Brantly played in 31 games last season and batted a promising .290/.372/.460 with eight doubles and eight RBIs. He also threw out four of the 18 base runners that tried to steal on him. His potential was high coming into the 2013 season and he was opening up as the starter.
However, his production dipped. Brantly batted .214/.264/.268 with 18 RBIs in 66 games. Brantly was demoted to Triple-A during the season, losing his spot to Jeff Mathis and Koyie Hill.
Miami’s catching situation is in shambles and there may not be hope for at least another year. Brantly was supposed to be the guy for a little while, but his 2013 season really makes you wonder if he is going to be the man to call games for the Marlins’ pitchers in the future.
Mathis and Hill are definitely not the answers and Kyle Skipworth is not living up to his full potential. J.T. Realmuto is next in line to take the catching duties, but because he was not called up to the 40-man roster, it does not seem like he would have a chance to start next season.
The future of the Marlins catcher is up in the air, and will be unless Brantly comes around.