Crash course for Brantly with Mariners

Catcher has been learning about pitching staff since Seattle claimed him off waivers

Crash course for Brantly with Mariners

PEORIA, Ariz. -- On Saturday, Rob Brantly celebrated his first full week with the Mariners by starting a split-squad game in Surprise against the Royals. Kansas City won, 5-4.

For Brantly, a 26-year-old catcher who was claimed off waivers on March 12 from the White Sox, it's been a busy week that has left his head spinning at times.

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Unlike the other catchers on the roster, Chris Iannetta and Steve Clevenger, Brantly has had to try to learn the pitching staff on the fly while also making adjustments defensively during his first week with the team.

"It is a crash course," said Mariners manager Scott Servais, a former catcher. "… I think he's trying to learn the guys and we're trying to make a few adjustments defensively.

"So he's got a lot on his plate right now. I think he's handled it pretty well, getting to know the guys the best he can. That is a challenge. I've been in that spot."

Going into the game against the Royals, Brantly -- who came to the Mariners with a reputation as an offensive-minded catcher -- had three hits in six at-bats since joining Seattle, with one of the hits going for a home run against the A's on Thursday.

"We were intrigued. Obviously, he's got a history of hitting. … I am curious to see how the defense comes along, the blocking, the throwing," Servais said. "The receiving seems to be good so far."

With Iannetta set to be the team's regular catcher, Brantly, a left-handed hitter, is in competition with Clevenger for the backup job.

"I feel like I'm picking it up pretty well," said Brantly, who is out of Minor League options. "The pitchers here are really great to work with. We talk a lot before games, have meetings, and it's trying to get to know these guys personally.

"I feel like I'm catching on pretty fast. The more I catch them, the better I get to know them, the better it gets."

Corey Brock is a reporter for This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.