The Marlins’ Chris Hatcher made his major league debut last September as the team’s third catcher, going 0-for-6 in five games. Today, he’s rejoining the team as a reliever.
Hatcher, a 2006 fifth-round pick, decided to make the switch to the mound after hitting just .197/.274/.283 in 354 at-bats between Double- and Triple-A last season. He was a career .211/.290/.364 hitter in the minors, and even as a strong armed catcher, that’s not the kind of line that’s going to lead to much action in the majors.
So, Hatcher showed up this year as a full-time reliever and went 2-1 with a 2.31 ERA and a 39/15 K/BB ratio in 35 innings for Double-A Jacksonville, earning him his promotion today. It’ll probably be a short-term assignment — the Marlins were able to send down Brad Hand and go to four starters with the All-Star break coming up — but the choice of Hatcher suggests the team sees a future for him in the major league bullpen. He throws in the low-90s consistently, and he’s already come up with a halfway decent slider. If he refines it, he might turn into a quality setup man in time.