Friday has been a busy day for the Seattle Mariners as earlier they relieved Jack Zduriencik of his duties as GM. The second move made was demoting starting catcher Mike Zunino to Triple-A Tacoma, one of Zduriencik’s worst draft picks.
Zunino has had an awful 2015 thus far. He has hit just .174 this season with just 11 home runs and 28 RBI in 112 games. In his career, he owns an average of .193 while also has striking out 339 times with just 54 times in his 295-game career. It has been quite the struggle at the plate for the former third overall draft pick. His offensive WAR is an atrocious -23.5.
They might miss him on defense, however, as he has a 6.9 WAR behind the plate and is known as an above average catcher who helps his pitchers steal some strikes.
This move had to be made and even though the Minor League season is almost over, this may be more of a mental move than anything. The Tacoma Rainiers play until the 7th of September, but it is unclear if he will come up with the September call ups or when their season is over. This move will hopefully let Zunino clear his head a bit and maybe he can get back on track with a strong September.
In Zunino’s spot, the Mariners called up 26-year-old catcher John Hicks, who owns a .245 average with six homers and a .645 OPS in 83 Triple-A games. There isn’t really a replacement or a prospect the Mariners can call up, which may make some people scratch their heads a bit about this move.
Jesus Sucre, who is currently on the roster, will more than likely take over the starting catcher’s role for the time being.