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Rafael Marchan plays an important role on the Philadelphia Phillies' 26-man roster, a backup to the catcher. Marchan split this role with Andrew Knapp this season after Knapp faced injury, being placed on the COVID-19 list, and taking paternity leave. Having split time with Knapp, Marchan ended up not seeing as much time as he could've. How he did utilize his time with the big league club this season helped make his case for being the Phillies' sole backup catcher in the coming seasons.

Marchan played in 20 games this season, starting 13 games behind home plate for Philadelphia. The 22-year-old saw the bulk of his playing time during J.T. Realmuto's absences due to injuries. The majority came in the months of May, when Realmuto suffered a hand injury, and in August when he suffered an ankle injury.

During the season, Marchan slashed .231/.286/.346 with four RBI. The highlight of Marchan's season was arguably his two-run home run against the Washington Nationals on Aug. 31 which tied the game up in the top of the sixth inning, the Phillies would go on to win that game, 12-6.

Apart from his time on the Phillies' main roster, Marchan spent most of the season in the minors. He split time between the Reading Phillies and Lehigh Valley Iron Pigs. 

Kyle Ross-USA TODAY Sports

Kyle Ross-USA TODAY Sports

During his stint in the minors, Marchan hit .202/.281/.236. While Marchan isn't known to carry a big bat, his usual route is to get singles, and have a more small-ball approach to his batting rather than swinging for the fences. 


Marchan has the ability, with a bit more development in the offseason, to become the backup catcher for Philadelphia. This is especially true if the team does decide to move on from Knapp after a horrid season at the plate.

If the Phillies do elect to bring back Knapp, then it could allow for additional development next year in the minors.

Jeff Hanisch-USA TODAY Sports

Jeff Hanisch-USA TODAY Sports

This solution mainly revolves around both backup players' ages, Knapp is older but has more experience thus he should be the backup catcher. While Marchan is much younger, thus giving him more time to improve and refine his game until the Phillies feel that he's ready for the major leagues. 

Another solution is to do as they are, see how things are going with both backup players, and continue to split Marchan's time between the minors and majors. This could be helpful as instead of consistent minor league experience, Marchan would see time against the top level.

If the Phillies are unable to find Marchan a consistent spot on their roster down the line, Marchan's age and potential could prove useful in a trade package that could see Marchan get playing time elsewhere and the Phillies something they need.

Publisher Kade Kistner contributed to this article.

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