D-backs down to two catchers with Jeff Mathis on paternity leave

Jun 10, 2018, 11:07 AM
Arizona Diamondbacks pitcher T.J. McFarland and Jeff Mathis (2) celebrate after the Diamondbacks de...
Arizona Diamondbacks pitcher T.J. McFarland and Jeff Mathis (2) celebrate after the Diamondbacks defeated the Miami Marlins 6-2 during a baseball game Saturday, June 2, 2018, in Phoenix. (AP Photo/Rick Scuteri)
(AP Photo/Rick Scuteri)

For the entire 2018 season, the Arizona Diamondbacks have been a minority team in Major League Baseball carrying three catchers on its active roster.

That number will shrink to two as 35-year-old Jeff Mathis will take some time off for paternity leave.

In a corresponding move the D-backs recalled infielder Christian Walker from the Reno Aces on Sunday.

Walker is batting .252 in Reno with six doubles and five homers. He has 20 RBI in 115 at-bats and has homered in each of his last two games.

Walker hit what is is tied for the third-longest homer in the MLB season when he blasted a 479-foot quadruple off Clayton Kershaw on May 1 earlier this year.

He has appeared in 16 games for the D-backs this season.

Mathis, known as a defensive specialist, owns a 3.17 catchers ERA, which ranks fifth in the NL.

The D-backs will rely on John Ryan Murphy and Alex Avila to assume the catching duties in Mathis’ absence.

It was not made clear when Mathis will return to the club.

With Mathis sidelined for the time being, the remaining clubs in the MLB with three catchers on the active roster are the Boston Red Sox, Chicago White Sox, Houston Astros, Los Angeles Angels, New York Mets, Pittsburgh Pirates, Seattle Mariners and Washington Nationals.

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D-backs down to two catchers with Jeff Mathis on paternity leave