Let's hop into Doc Brown's DeLorean and take a small trip back to the spring of 2012. The newly named Miami Marlins were ready to begin to a season that was a sense of promise that fans weren't familiar with since the mid-2000's. The free agency signings, new manager, and more importantly a newly built stadium marked a change that excited the people both in and out of South Beach.
Of course, that tale turned into a tragic nightmare overnight as the promise and intrigue that fans had in the spring to a feeling of disgust and sadness in the summer. The new faces that excited the folks of Miami a few months prior were now being sent away faster than a 16 year old with a brand new drivers license. Two of those faces (Anibal Sanchez and Omar Infante) can be classified as "glue guys" who weren't asked to be the leaders of the team but were still extremely useful players.
But of course, they were one of the opening moves in one of the biggest firesales in recent history where they were sent to the Detroit Tigers for pitching prospects Jacob Turner and Brian Flynn, and catcher Rob Brantly.
While both Turner and Flynn both made their way to the farm system, Brantly was almost immediately brought up to the big league club by making his big league debut on August 14, which was just three weeks after the trade. In his limited amount of time with the Marlins during the 2012 season, Brantly finished the campaign with a solid split of .290/.372/.460 (.358 wOBA).
His great end to the season and the team's real lack of depth at the catching position put Brantly as the surefire favorite to be inserted into the starting lineup when the 2013 season began. While there were some major concerns about his work behind the plate, the promise was still extremely tantalizing because of Rob's track record when he had the bat in his hands.
With nearly two months behind us in the 2013 MLB season, Brantly has been worse than previously expected. While he holds the reputation as a solid offensive player, he's been below average with a split of ,234/.298/.297 which is a huge drop off from his rookie season. While there aren't better options to replace Brantly as the starting catcher, the reports are out there about the possibility that his time with the big league club being numbered because the team will need an extra roster spot with Logan Morrison returning in June.
While Miguel Olivo and Jeff Mathis aren't the best players out there, manager Mike Redmond and the front office might want to lean towards the two veterans over the young Brantly. Olivo has the advantage of being able to start both at first base and behind the plate, while Mathis has the experience of an eight-year veteran player on his side.
Brantly's immediate future is in question as we enter June but I personally think that the team should stick by their 24-year-old because they really have nothing else to lose this season. The 2013 season is basically a lost cause for this Marlins team and I do think it would be right for them to stick by the young catcher and closely analyze whether he progresses both behind and at the plate.