Catcher Brantly set for big league debut Tuesday

Catcher Brantly set for big league debut Tuesday

Catcher Brantly set for big league debut Tuesday
MIAMI -- When Rob Brantly was traded to the Marlins in a package that sent Anibal Sanchez and Omar Infante to Detroit, the 23-year-old backstop was optimistic about the opportunity at hand.

On Tuesday, that opportunity will be to make his Major League debut. Manager Ozzie Guillen said Brantly, who is the Marlins' No. 13 overall prospect, will start behind the plate against the Phillies and righty Kyle Kendrick.

"There's going to be a lot of excitement, maybe a little butterflies, but I'm just trying to take it as business as usual," Brantly said.

The Marlins' plan for Brantly, whose contract was selected from Triple-A New Orleans on Monday, is to get him plenty of playing time and plate appearances in order for the team to evaluate whether he is prepared for the Majors or if he needs another season to develop, Guillen said.

The team's desire to see what Brantly is capable of could mean a platoon at catcher with John Buck for the remainder of the season. Guillen wants to meet with Buck before deciding how to handle the situation.

Guillen said he has received good reports on Brantly, who hit .365 with a .389 on-base percentage, four doubles, two homers and 11 RBIs in 14 games for New Orleans.

"One thing he needs to work on a little bit is the defense," Guillen said. "But they say he swings the bat pretty good and has a chance to be a good player. We'll see pretty soon how good he can be."

Buck has struggled for much of the season, but seems to have turned it around this month, hitting .333 (10-for-30) with seven doubles in August entering Monday.

Regardless of how the situation plays out, Buck said it's his duty to mentor Brantly and help him acclimate to the pitching staff.

"He's a young guy, but even if it was a catcher with experience coming in, we'd go over exactly what our pitchers do, what are our strengths, weaknesses," Buck said. "If there are any of those things that are obviously part of the catcher's job to relay to the backup, or the other catcher, of course I'll do that."