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The Marlins next season's Catcher

Unfortunately, Olivo is feeling like he is he taking blame for something that isn't his fault.

But we will get to that in a second. First up, is some good news for the Olivo's.

Miguel Olivo celebrated his ninth wedding anniversary Thursday. His wife, Gloria, flew in from the family residence in northern California for the occasion.

"Try to relax my mind, have a good time with her," Olivo said. "You can never forget your family, because those are the only people that are with you all the time."

Happy Anniversary Miguel and Gloria!

Now to the blame thing.

Olivo feels like a forgotten man. The Marlins' starting catcher the past two seasons, Olivo has seen a significant decline in playing time.

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"When the team is losing they have to blame somebody, and I think they blame me. That's how it looks. I can't say if they're losing because of me or if the pitchers aren't throwing well because of me. We're losing games and I'm the catcher. Maybe it's my fault. I don't know what they think."

Trust me, Olivo isn't the reason the team is not winning, and he shouldn't think he is. The main reasons are the injuries to the pitching staff and some pretty bad fielding.  Even with Olivo's handling of the staff and his propensity to drop balls this season, the team's losing record can't be laid solely on his shoulders.  And I'm sorry he feels he is being used as the scapegoat, because that just isn't the case.

It is true that Olivo doesn't figure into the future plans of the Marlins.  One of the reasons being that he is once again arbitration eligible and expected to get to around three million dollars for next season.  That figure is too pricey for a Marlins catcher who is has a .238 BA with a .654 OPS.  Especially when he doesn't handle the pitching staff any better than he does.  Olivo isn't without his merits, he is one of the best in the game today throwing behind the runners.  But the Marlins have other options.

Which brings us to Matt Treanor.

Treanor has put together an impressive season, batting .284 with a .378 on-base percentage in 134 at-bats. Whether he could sustain those numbers over 450 at-bats is another matter, but the Marlins may be ready to find out.

"He's done a terrific job of hitting the ball, making those adjustments and handling the pitch calling," Gonzalez said. "He's earned a shot at catching a little more."

For next season, the front office is still trying to decide which way it will go with the catcher position.

One American League scout who recently spoke with the Marlins said the decision-makers are split on how to proceed with the catching situation. One faction believes Treanor has proved he can handle the pitching staff and whatever deficiencies he has offensively can be addressed elsewhere in the lineup. The other line of thinking is Treanor already is in his ideal role and the team is best served with another primary catcher.

The first part is interesting, why would an American League scout be interested in the Marlins catcher situation?  Of course, it could have been brought up in casual conversation, but be that has it may.

If I had to guess what the team will do next season, I would say that if he has a good spring, John Baker will be brought up to handle some of the catching duties.  I would expect Treanor to get most of the load with Baker maybe being assigned to a pitcher, possibly two as the season wears on.

For those who are excited about Baker's prospects as a Major League catcher, I would like to remind you that his numbers this season are about equivalent to the ones Treanor put up in 2003.

Perhaps the most accurate gauge of what Treanor can do at the plate over a full big league season is reflected by his 2003 Minor League campaign, when he batted .273 with 11 home runs and 40 RBIs at Albuquerque.

All of the offense aside, and the Marlins can generate offense even if the catcher doesn't contribute, Treanor is a bona fide catcher.

Defensively, Treanor is respected for his handling of pitchers.

"That's my main concern," he said. "I want the pitchers to feel good with me back there, and take that out of their equation that they are going to have to remember game plans, pitch selections and all that stuff. I want them to really trust me to do all that stuff so they can free up their game. I haven't played as well as I think I can this year, which is a positive for me, because I feel I have more in the tank to give."

The Marlins are a team that is pitcher centric and having a catcher who can actually catch, matters.