Jeff Mathis Talks About Transition to Miami

Marianna, FL----For big league pitchers and catchers this week is the week to report to their respective spring training sites.

Count Marianna alum Jeff Mathis among that group. Jeff's in fact now down in Jupiter, Florida, which is the Miami Marlins spring training site.

Before heading down there, Jeff making a stop in his home town of Marianna.

Even though he's not a Chipola alum, Mathis took part in the Indians alumni event, including the home run derby against the likes of Jose Bautista among others.

That gave us the chance to talk to Ted about his recent trade from Toronto to Miami.

"Well it's a mix of emotions." says Mathis "You make friends and acquantices with teams too. I did it last year in the trade from Anaheim going to Toronto. So I wouldn't say I'm used to it but I know how to handle it now. I miss the guys in Toronto, I made a lot of good friends there, but I'm looking forward to a new start with the Marlins."

Mathis spent his time with the Angels, and last season with the Jays as a backup. And despite hitting just 218 with 8 homers in 211 plate appearances, the Marlins, new skipper Mike Redmond's already named Mathis his starting catcher. Does that mean a different mindset going into spring?

"No, no everything's the same." Jeff says. "I prepare to play every day even if they tell me I'm gonna be backing up. So the training doesn't change, no matter what my title is, or what they're saying my job is, I'll be ready to go"

Along with starting the season as the starter, there's a big geographic plus to his trade in November. It means Jeff's coming back home to play in the Sunshine State, and that's something he and his family in Marianna are thrilled about.

"Oh yeah, I was all the way over on the west coast, it was tough to see me when I was with the Angels. I came back over to the east coast with Toronto, which came a little bit closer for us. But now I'm real close, I'm in the state. They're real excited about it and I am too."

Rob Brantly and Kyle Skipworth are the only other catchers listed on the Marlins roster, so that will be his competition in terms of holding on to that starting job heading into April.