Mathis is in the lineup for the third time in four games Tuesday against the Angels. The Diamondbacks have gone without a true starter behind the plate for most of the year and still have three catchers on the roster, so Mathis isn't a true primary catcher, but he's been the one getting the call most often lately. He's hit a solid .296/.345/.407 over his last 16 games but has a long track record as one of the worst hitters in the league, so he's unlikely to be a significant asset even in an increased role.
Mathis went 1-for-5 with an RBI in a 9-4 win over the Padres on Friday. Though he typically works as the personal catcher for Zack Greinke and Patrick Corbin, Mathis received a rare turn behind the plate with Robbie Ray on the mound. The pairing didn't prove effective, as Ray failed to escape the fifth inning while giving up three earned runs and throwing only 59 of 107 pitches for strikes. Mathis at least contributed to Arizona's offensive cause with a run-scoring single in the second inning, giving him 17 RBI on the campaign. That represents Mathis' highest total in the category since 2013.
Mathis went 2-for-3 with a double, two RBI and two runs scored Saturday against the Padres. Mathis came to the plate with the bases loaded in the second inning and came through with an RBI single. He added an RBI double in the ninth inning to provide the Diamondbacks with insurance. He doesn't see regular playing time with Alex Avila and John Ryan Murphy also starting behind the plate, though Mathis has taken advantage of his 37 July at-bats by driving in eight runs.
Mathis was the pitcher of record in Sunday's 4-3 loss to the Padres in 16 innings after surrendering the go-ahead run in the top of the frame. He started the contest at catcher and finished the day 2-for-6 with a pair of doubles, a walk and an RBI. After catching the first 15 innings of the series finale, Mathis moved to the mound for his first pitching appearance since 2012 and the third overall of his career with no other options available in the Arizona bullpen. While he retired three of four hitters and even notched a strikeout, the solo blast he surrendered to Wil Myers held up as the difference in the one-run loss. With Alex Avila back from the disabled list, the Diamondbacks now have three catchers on the active roster, which is expected to limit Mathis to around one or two starts behind the plate per week going forward.
Mathis was reinstated from the paternity list prior to Wednesday's game. Mathis will return to the fold after he and his wife welcomed their second child into the world Sunday night. The catcher will start Wednesday's series finale against the Pirates and bat eighth in the order. Over 23 games this season, Mathis is slashing .190/.324/.241 with two extra-base hits and four RBI. In a corresponding move, Braden Shipley was sent down to Triple-A Reno.
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