ATLANTA -- It’s been a trying year for Rob Brantly on the field, where the young catcher struggled at the plate — and behind it — for the Marlins. But when it began to show in his personality, as well, the Marlins decided it was time for a change.
On Friday, Brantly — the team’s Opening Day catcher — was demoted to Triple A New Orleans. The Marlins promoted veteran catcher Koyie Hill to fill his roster spot.
“It’s been a thing I’ve been concerned about for a while,” said Marlins manager Mike Redmond. “Part of what concerned me was that he kind of maybe lost his personality a little bit. We saw a guy in spring training that was really confident — bouncing around, having fun, joking around.
“And then, over the last month, I think he really kind of lost that.”
Said Marlins general manager Mike Hill: “Sometimes you’ve got to take a step back to move forward.
“When he came up, he was high energy, a guy all over the place. I think we saw it was wearing on him.”
Brantly’s playing time diminished when veteran catcher Jeff Mathis returned from the disabled list in May. The 24-year-old Brantley, who was obtained from the Detroit Tigers last season in the Anibal Sanchez/ Omar Infante trade, hit only .225 with one home run — and just .091 since the All-Star break.
But Brantley also had his share of issues behind the plate.
Although Redmond said Brantly’s throwing skill and blocking ability had improved, he added that Brantley still needed work in other areas.
“There’s still some game-plan stuff, and things he needs to work on as far as day-to-day preparation, and calling pitches, and working with pitchers, and carrying out a game plan,” Redmond said. “Some of those are experience things. Some of them are focus things.”
There’s a good chance Brantly, after finishing out the season with New Orleans, could be called up in September when rosters expand.
Koyie Hill hit .210 in nine seasons with the Cubs, Diamondbacks and Dodgers.
A hit no longer
Christian Yelich had a hit taken away from him Friday, and it wasn’t the result of an exceptional defensive play. The league overturned a scoring decision in Yelich’s first major-league game July 23 in Colorado, taking away an infield hit from the rookie and instead charging Rockies second baseman D.J. LeMahieu with an error.
As a result, Redmond remains the only Marlin to begin his major-league career with three hits in each of his first three at-bats.
“I don’t have a lot of records still standing,” Redmond joked, “but at least I still have one.”
Yelich did not dispute the scoring change.
“Let’s be real here,” Yelich said. “We all saw what kind of play it was. “I didn’t think it was a hit. I didn’t know it was a hit until that night when they told me.”
• Saturday: Marlins RHP Nathan Eovaldi (2-2, 3.19 ERA) at Atlanta Braves LHP Alex Wood (2-2, 3.20), 7:10 p.m., Turner Field.
• Sunday: Marlins RHP Henderson Alvarez (2-1, 2.80) at Braves LHP Mike Minor (11-5, 2.76), 1:35 p.m., Turner Field.
• Scouting report: While Eovaldi has given up only three runs over his past three starts, he has been plagued by a lack of run support. The Marlins have failed to score a single run for him over his past four outings. Eovaldi has gone 0-1 with a 3.68 ERA in four career starts against Atlanta. This will be the first time he faces them this season.