The 2013 season was a dreadful year for Marlins catchers. Jeff Mathis, Miguel Olivo, and Rob Brantly combined for quite the incompetent group. The front office went out and added Jarrod Saltalamacchia over the off-season in an attempt to turn things around. At the time, the move was a celebrated one, but Salty dropped a bit of a dud this year. His defense was bad as expected, and his bat cooled of significantly after a hot start to the season.
Don’t get me wrong, Salty’s bat was still an upgrade over Mathis, he finished with a slash line of .220/.320/.362, adding 20 doubles and 11 homers. He ended up with a flat zero WAR (Wins above Replacement for those of you who still don’t know what that is). A 3.28 K% is also a huge problem, I can’t recall a game where he didn’t strike out swinging at least once. His 6,000,000 salary should have put him at around 1 WAR for him to be considered average, all in all making it a bad year for Salty. He should bounce back a little next season, if not, J.T Realmuto may be ready to take over.
Speaking of Realmuto, he got his first taste of the big leagues this year, but his 40 at bats don’t provide enough room for any real analysis. He had a solid year in AA, and should get another chance at more playing time in the big leagues next year.
Jeff Mathis gave us all what we expected of him, good defense with a terrible bat. He actually provided 0.1 wins more than Salty this year, in 195 plate appearances. His biggest concern this off season should be getting signatures to have rule 7.13 overturned. Mathis is not a good player, his bat is horrible, but at least he’s consistent, and the pitching staff seems to like him.
As horrible as 2013 was for Marlins catchers, 2014 didn’t turn out to be much better. I doubt the front office will do anything to address the position in the off season, as Salty is signed for the next two years. I don’t really have any problem with that, as they have bigger areas of concern.
Final Grade: C-/D+