NEW YORK -- The Marlins are searching for a spark, and catching prospect J.T. Realmuto might be the answer. The 24-year-old had two hits in Wednesday's 6-2 win in Atlanta, and he was back behind the plate in the series opener on Thursday in New York against the Mets.
Manager Mike Redmond noted that Realmuto, a converted shortstop, is a talented athlete who will get a chance to play. How much may be determined by performance.
"At the end of the day, we're about winning ballgames," Redmond said. "Sometimes it takes a guy to come up and put him in the lineup, and then go out there and contribute and kind of energize the ballclub. J.T. did that yesterday, as did [Adeiny Hechavarria]."
Redmond has spoken with veteran Jarrod Saltalamacchia, the Opening Day starter, about how the catching situation may shape up.
"I think it's always a touchy situation anytime you have conversations with guys, and you have to give them a break," Redmond said. "But at the same time, too, we're trying to win ballgames. If giving Salty a few extra days here or there helps him and helps us, then it will be worth it."
Saltalamacchia, who turns 30 on May 2, is 2-for-22 (.091) with 11 strikeouts, a double, one home run and one RBI.
Realmuto, a third-round pick in 2010, was called up from Triple-A New Orleans on Monday after Jeff Mathis fractured his right wrist.
Realmuto appeared in 11 big league games in 2014, batting .241 with a double, triple and nine RBIs. A year ago, he batted .299 with eight home runs and 62 RBIs at Double-A Jacksonville, which won the Southern League championship.
"J.T. is a guy that has played a lot in the Minor Leagues," Redmond said. "With young guys, you want to be careful not to sit them on the bench for an extended period of time and get them in there. So we'll try to get him in there as much as we can. We'll see how we go from there."
Joe Frisaro is a reporter for MLB.com. He writes a blog, called The Fish Pond. Follow him on Twitter @JoeFrisaro. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.