Bryan Holaday seems to have the inside track on the primary backup roster spot due to his 2018 track record. Last season, he hit only .205/.261/.258 as the number two catcher, giving Realmuto a break approximately once per week, but that’s not the whole story.
Defensively, Holaday, now 31, led the National League by throwing out 45 percent of baserunners trying to steal, 17 times in 38 tries. He caught 357 1/3 innings without an error, and handled all of those pitches with only one passed ball. This sort of defensive excellence should be rewarded with a roster position. The Miami Marlins signed Holaday with the intention of getting a solid backup catcher, and in 2018, that’s just what they got. He can do the same in 2019.
Chad Wallach was the Miami Marlins third catcher last season, and didn’t get significant playing time until September. Now 28, Wallach went eight-for-45 at the plate for the Miami Marlins last season, with one home run and five RBI. Disconcertingly, he struck out in nearly 50 percent of his plate appearances, 23 times in 52.
I wrote back in October:
"Wallach is a solid backup catcher, mainly for his unquestionably sound defensive prowess. In addition to his rifle of a right arm, he’s also blessed with quick feet, is great pitch framer, an excellent pitch caller, and knows how to position himself when there’s a play at the plate."
Wallach threw out three-of-seven trying to steal, in keeping with the trend of Marlins catching defensive prowess from top-to-bottom. He finished with one error in 121 2/3 innings, like Holaday allowing only one passed ball.
The state of Marlins catching leaves four more on the outside trying to get in.