Mathis fractures collar bone, out six weeks

JUPITER, Fla. — On a day the Marlins celebrated an 8-3 win over the Cardinals, they endured a crushing blow.

Catcher Jeff Mathis suffered a non-displaced fracture to his right collar bone.

Manager Mike Redmond said recovery time is about six weeks, which means Mathis likely won’t be ready for Opening Day on April 1 at Washington.

“It’s not the break that we needed, for sure,” Redmond said. “It’s a fluke deal, a foul tip. It just hit him perfect.”

Mathis was clipped by Matt Holliday’s foul tip in the top of the fourth inning. Initially, he just shook it off, and remained in the game for one more pitch. But after Holliday drew a walk, Mathis felt discomfort while throwing the ball back to pitcher Brad Hand.

“When I went to throw I felt it,” Mathis said. “It wasn’t right. Right now, it’s non-displaced, which is good.

“I’ve had a broken face, broken hand, and broke wrist. I’ve never messed my collar bone up.”

The Marlins obtained Mathis from the Blue Jays in November, and he is the backup to Rob Brantly.

Miami already is thin on catching depth.

Kyle Skipworth replaced Mathis in the middle of the fourth inning. Jake Jefferies is another candidate. Wilfredo Gimenez and J.T. Realmuto, two prospects, are the other catchers in camp.

“I feel bad for us, but bad for him,” Redmond said. “He was excited. He’s been great around the young guys. We just have to figure it out tomorrow and see where we go from here.”

In the past, Mathis said he has broken several bones, but never his collar bone. The impact of the tip went through his chest protector.

“It hit me in the pad,” Mathis said. “It was just one of those things, where it catches you right. I’ve been hit there a lot of times.

“It felt like any other foul tip, I’d taken off the mask, the shoulder, the hand. When I went to throw, I knew it was something.”

Joe Frisaro

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