The D-backs signed Jeff Mathis last offseason to bolster their pitching staff with his ability as a defender and pitch-framer behind the plate. He eclipsed 200 plate appearances for the first time since 2013, but the value came mostly in the form of helping out the pitchers that he worked with. That playing time total may have checked in closer to 250 plate appearances if Mathis hadn't suffered a hand injury that put him on the DL for more than a month in late August. As has been the case throughout his career, Mathis didn't offer much as a hitter, and there is no reason to think that will change in his age-35 season. Nevertheless, he'll likely reprise his role starting once or twice per week, perhaps working as the personal catcher to Zack Greinke again, while serving the D-backs as a backup again despite the departure of Chris Iannetta via free agency.
Mathis (back) worked on his swing this offseason in an attempt to increase his launch angle, The Athletic reports. Mathis was motivated to make the change after noted swing changer J.D. Martinez joined the Diamondbacks last summer. The veteran catcher owns a .198/.256/.309 line over 13 major-league seasons, and he's never hit double-digit home runs, so he has a very long way to go to become a fantasy asset even in deep two-catcher formats. There's no guarantee the swing change will have the desired effect for Mathis, and his playing time might be too sporadic to notice any differences, but there's at least a small chance that he's a new man this season at the plate.
Mathis is dealing with back tightness, Zach Buchanan of The Athletic Arizona reports. It's unclear when the issue cropped up or how long it will keep Mathis sidelined at this point, but the team will likely play it safe with the veteran backstop with the start of the season right around the corner. Consider him day-to-day until the Diamondbacks provide more on his status.
Mathis is starting at catcher and hitting eighth for Game 3 of the NLDS against the Dodgers on Monday. Mathis has played in two games this postseason, over which he's gone 2-for-7 with a home run and two RBI. He'll look to continue his solid showing Monday against a Dodgers squad that is starting Yu Darvish on the hill.
Mathis (hand) was activated from the DL and is starting at catcher and hitting ninth Saturday against the Royals. This move was expected, as Mathis will get at least one start to audition for the NLDS roster. He has not started since Aug. 21 due to the hand injury, and is not much of an offensive threat when healthy, so he should be avoided in most daily formats.
Mathis (hand) could be activated from the 10-day disabled list and start at catcher Saturday against the Royals, Steve Gilbert of MLB.com reports. Mathis has been sidelined since Aug. 22 with a fractured hand, but appears to be very close to being ready to play again following a month-plus rehab. The backstop had regularly served as Zack Greinke's batterymate prior to landing on the DL, and could be behind the plate when the team's ace takes the hill for the Diamondbacks' wild-card matchup with either the Rockies or Brewers on Oct. 4. In order for that to happen, however, manager Torey Lovullo stated that Mathis will first need to catch Saturday or in the regular-season finale Sunday. Lovullo indicated he wouldn't feel comfortable inserting Mathis into the lineup for the wild-card game without a prior tuneup contest.