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Skipworth hoping to answer opportunity's knock


LAKE BUENA VISTA, Fla. -- While the Marlins continue to look for catching help after losing Jeff Mathis for at least six weeks with a fractured right collarbone, they also have the opportunity to take a good look at their No. 1 Draft choice of 2008, Kyle Skipworth.

The 22-year-old made his first Grapefruit League start in Monday's 7-6 loss to the Braves at Champion Stadium.

Skipworth went hitless in two at-bats, but manager Mike Redmond liked what he saw.

"I thought Skippy did a nice job behind the plate," Redmond said. "He looked great."

Redmond had planned to split catching duties between Mathis and Rob Brantly, and now Skipworth is in the mix.

"It's a tremendous opportunity for him," said Redmond. "I've only gotten to see him play a couple of times, but he's a strong, physical catcher. He's got a good arm. And from what I've seen, he's got some pop in his bat as well. Saying all that, we'll see how he does in the games.

"I'm sure there's a comfort level that could take a little while, but hey, that's the situation we're in. It's an opportunity for him, and hopefully he'll take advantage of it."

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