NEW YORK -- The Marlins are on the brink of getting their starting catcher and one of their top leaders back.J.T. Realmuto made the trip to New York and took batting practice on Monday, but he has yet to be reinstated from the disabled list. It appears likely Realmuto will
NEW YORK -- The Marlins are on the brink of getting their starting catcher and one of their top leaders back.
J.T. Realmuto made the trip to New York and took batting practice on Monday, but he has yet to be reinstated from the disabled list. It appears likely Realmuto will be ready tonight in the second of two games with the Yankees.
"It will be nice to have J.T. back, obviously," Marlins manager Don Mattingly said. "He's a guy who is a tremendous leader for us, behind the plate, but also a guy offensively, you plug in and put him in the middle of your order. It's really an area we've had trouble scoring runs. It's an area, where you welcome back, knowing that you have to protect him a little bit, early on."
Realmuto opened the season on the 10-day DL with a low-back bruise sustained on March 11.
The 27-year-old played in a rehab assignment game for Class A Advanced Jupiter on Saturday, going 3-for-3 with a home run. Initially, the plan was for him to catch seven innings for the Hammerheads on Sunday, but that changed, as Realmuto made the trip to New York.
John Holaday and Chad Wallach have handled a majority of the starts with Realmuto on the DL, with Tomas Telis as the third catcher in the mix. Telis was the designated hitter in Monday's 12-1 loss at Yankee Stadium.
Of the three, Wallach is the only catcher who has options remaining.
Brinson gets a breather
Laboring in a 1-for-36 stretch since April 2, center fielder Lewis Brinson is being given a couple of days to regroup. Mattingly said the intention is to not to use the 23-year-old in either of the two Interleague games at Yankee Stadium.
"I talked to him earlier," Mattingly said. "We're giving him a couple of days [off] here. We're trying to get him some confidence as far as his work. It's tough to try to work on something and then go out and play. It's a lot easier here with the DH. You know you're probably not going to have to put him in there, other than defensively, if we wanted to do that."
The Marlins are giving their top-ranked prospect, according to MLB Pipeline, every opportunity to get through his struggles. He has been working with hitting coaches Mike Pagliarulo and Frank Menechino on refining his swing.
Cameron Maybin started in center on Monday.
The plan is to get Brinson back for the four-game series at Milwaukee, which starts on Thursday. The Marlins acquired Brinson from the Brewers in the Christian Yelich trade.
"We're trying to give him a couple of days to get a feel back, and then go back at it in Milwaukee," Mattingly said.
Starlin Castro was able to catch up with some former Yankees teammates on Monday. The Marlins acquired Castro from New York as part of the Giancarlo Stanton trade in December.
Castro is a veteran leader on a young Miami team that is off to a rough start.
"It's a little tough," Castro said. "We have a bunch of guys here who want to win, and they want to be better. They come to the ballpark every day trying so hard. We're going to keep our heads up, we're going to continue fighting. We're going to go out and play 100 percent. It's not always going to be the good results, but the only thing we can control is going out there and playing hard."
Progress is being made on a number of injuries. Wei-Yin Chen (left elbow strain) is scheduled to begin his rehab assignment at Class A Advanced Jupiter on Tuesday, throwing four innings.
Right-hander Elieser Hernandez (tooth infection) went four innings in an extended spring game on Monday. Third baseman Martin Prado (left hamstring strain) played five innings in extended spring on Monday, and he's scheduled to play five more frames at third base on Tuesday.
Right-hander Dan Straily (right forearm strain) will make his second rehab assignment start for the Hammerheads on Wednesday at Roger Dean Chevrolet Stadium in Jupiter, Fla.
Joe Frisaro has covered the Marlins for MLB.com since 2002. Follow him on Twitter @JoeFrisaro and listen to his podcast.