Playing time up in air between D-backs catchers

Mathis, Iannetta and Herrmann all expected to make Opening Day roster

Playing time up in air between D-backs catchers

SCOTTSDALE, Ariz. -- It seems almost a certainty that the D-backs will have three catchers on their Opening Day roster.

How their playing time will be split up is far less certain.

Arizona signed veterans Jeff Mathis and Chris Iannetta in part for their abilities as pitch framers, and the reason they can easily carry three catchers is because Chris Herrmann can play all three outfield positions, as well as both corners in the infield in addition to catching.

Veterans Hank Conger and Josh Thole are also in camp, along with prospect Oscar Hernandez.

"It's hard for me to predict," D-backs manager Torey Lovullo said of how the playing time behind the plate would be split up this year. "Starting catchers catch 100 games now, 110 games. That's the new normal. Where that falls for our guys has yet to be determined. We'll kind of define that as things unfold."

The D-backs are likely to mix and match behind the plate depending on which catcher they think works well with a particular pitcher, or based on their matchups against an opposing pitcher.

Steve Gilbert has covered the D-backs for MLB.com since 2001. Follow him on Twitter @SteveGilbertMLB. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.