Mathis healthy, ready to assume any role
JUPITER, Fla. -- Marlins catcher Jeff Mathis is hopeful the breaks go his way this time around. Physically, they didn't really do so last season.
The 30-year-old sustained a broken right collarbone in the first Spring Training game of 2013, causing him to be out until mid-May. And while blocking a ball in the dirt in September, he fractured a bone in his right thumb.
Mathis is back at full-speed, and ready to take on whatever role is required.
"Everything feels good," he said. "I'm healthy, and looking to stay that way. I feel strong, loose and ready to go."
When available, Mathis handled a bulk of the catching duties in '13. He was regularly out there when Jose Fernandez was on the mound.
With the signing of free agent Jarrod Saltalamacchia, however, Mathis now becomes a backup.
"Whenever they throw me in there, I'm going to be ready," Mathis said. "That's how I prepare myself every year. It doesn't change with [Saltalamacchia] being here."
A number of offseason moves have added big league experience to a youthful squad that endured growing pains in 2013.
"We've been through some adversity, baseball adversity, and injury adversity," Mathis said. "But we didn't give up last year. That's something that was impressive. We kept battling and battling, which is goof a young team. There are a lot of things you can take out of it. Hopefully, we don't go through that again this year."