Ready Or Not: Seattle Mariners Promote Catcher Mike Zunino
Whether he is ready or not, the Seattle Mariners with what appears to be out of sheer desperation have promoted 22-year old back stop Mike Zunino from Triple A, as reported by numerous sources. The 3rd overall pick in the 2012 amateur draft will be thrust into the forefront due to the demotion of Jesus Montero and the recent injury to Jesus Sucre. The Mariners will no doubt be questioned on the timing of the call-up and if it beneficial to rush the catcher especially seeing the team is 11 games out of first place and 9 games under .500.
There will no doubt be some growing pains as the blue chipper was struggling to put up consistent at at bats together in Triple A with the Tacoma Rainiers. In 47 games Zunino hit .238 with an .806 ops and 11 round trippers however he also struck out 59 times in 208 plate appearances. You definitely cant dispute the power that Zunino possesses as he has dialled long distance 24 times in 91 games between three minor league levels.
The native of Cape Coral, Florida is the third prospect drafted in the first round last year to make their major league debut. Earlier this season Kevin Gausman and Michael Wacha both were promoted to the majors by their respective teams having been only a year removed from the draft.
In retrospect, Jesus Montero played 489 games in the minors, Buster Posey got in 172 games, Carlos Santana had an extended stay playing 526 games and Yadier Molina saw 297 games before getting the call to the majors. So it is definitely not common place for a catcher to get the promotion with only 91 minor league games under his belt and only 47 at Triple A.
Only time will tell, but the general consensus will be the Mariners are making a mistake wagering on the growth of Zunino by calling him up at this juncture in his young career.
Desperate times call for desperate measures in Seattle.