Jarrod Saltalamacchia isn’t a happy camper at the moment, and the reasons are obvious. He has lost his starting job — for the time being, at least — to rookie catcher J.T. Realmuto.
“Am I mad?” Saltalamacchia asked. “Yeah, I’m mad. I want to play.”
But Saltalamacchia, who was on the bench a third consecutive game as manager Mike Redmond continued to stick with Realmuto, said he’s not so angry that he’ll allow it to become a distraction by pouting over it.
“I can’t control this,” Saltalamacchia said. “I can’t grab the lineup and put my name on it. Do I want to be in there? Yeah. There’s not a day I don’t want to be in there. I’m not going to sit here and complain. I want to play. But I’m not going to hurt this team. I’m not going to be the reason.”
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Redmond said it doesn’t surprise him that Saltalamacchia wouldn’t care for the situation.
“I didn’t expect him to be happy about it,” Redmond said. “It’s one of those tough conversations a manager has with players, and I’ve been there on that end. And it’s tough, but it’s how you respond to it. Do you come out and make the adjustments? That’s kind of what we’re looking for. We need Salty. He’s a big part of this team.”
Saltalamacchia, who struggled last season and is off to a slow start by going 2 for his first 22 with 11 strikeouts, said he feels it’s a little too soon to be making sudden lineup changes, such as the one that finds himself in a backup role.
Does he think six starts behind the plate is too quick to be pulling the trigger?
“In my opinion, yeah,” he said. “But I don’t get paid to make those decisions. I can only do what I can do, which is show up and play when I’m in there.”
When he’s not, Saltalamacchia said he’ll do whatever he can to help Realmuto, either by helping him with pitch-calling, or in facing opposing pitchers at the plate.
Saltalamacchia said Realmuto “looks good.”
“I watched some of the pitches he called [Thursday] night, and he was definitely on the same page I was on,” he said. “He looks really relaxed and not pressing too hard, which is really big for young guys. I think he’s doing a good job, and I hope he continues doing it.”
HOME RUN LISTS
Giancarlo Stanton became the Marlins’ all-time home run leader on Thursday when he connected on his 155th homer. But he’s the low man on the totem pole compared with other teams’ home run leaders.
Next up on the list is Nate Colbert, who is San Diego’s all-time home run leader with 163.
Hank Aaron’s 733 home runs with the Braves leads all team leaders, with the Yankees’ Babe Ruth next on the list with 659.
▪ Saturday: Marlins RHP Mat Latos (0-2, 17.36 ERA) at New York Mets RHP Jacob deGrom (1-1, 1.46), 7:10 p.m., Citi Field.
▪ Sunday: Marlins RHP Tom Koehler (1-1, 3.18) at Mets RHP Matt Harvey (2-0, 2.25), 1:10 p.m., Citi Field.