Realmuto gets another day to rest sore hand

Realmuto gets another day to rest sore hand

ATLANTA -- You can call it the "August bruise" if you like. It's that time of the season when aches and pains are piling up.

It's reached the catching position with the Marlins the past couple of days, as rookie J.T. Realmuto sat out his second straight game Thursday to rest a sore left hand.

The pounding Realmuto's hand has taken through his glove while receiving pitches reached the point where the 24-year-old is being given a short breather. Jeff Mathis got the starting nod in the series opener with the Braves at Turner Field.

"It's things you get in August," manager Dan Jennings said. "This is a tough month. The game grinds you down a little bit."

Mathis also started on Wednesday against the Mets at Marlins Park.

Jennings isn't going as far as calling Realmuto's soreness a "bruise." Basically, it's just a bit tender.

"I felt like we could give him back-to-back days and refresh his body a little bit," Jennings said.

The emergence of Realmuto has been one of the bright spots for the Marlins in an otherwise disappointing season. Like a number of young players on the roster, the team is monitoring his workload.

The rookie, who opened the season at Triple-A New Orleans, is batting .247 with six homers, five triples, 15 doubles and 29 RBIs.

Realmuto's progression is one reason the Marlins designated veteran Jarrod Saltalamacchia for assignment early in the season.

The Marlins are carrying three catchers, including Tomas Telis, who was acquired on July 31 from the Rangers as part of the Sam Dyson trade.

Once the club is confident Realmuto is fine, they will have a decision to make regarding whether to continue to carry three catchers.

Realmuto has already logged 82 games in the big leagues, plus another three at New Orleans this season.

"He should be in the lineup [Friday]," Jennings said. "From this many games, it's beaten up a little bit."

Joe Frisaro is a reporter for MLB.com. He writes a blog, called The Fish Pond. Follow him on Twitter @JoeFrisaro and listen to his podcast. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.