BY SPNW Staff 12:36PM 06/11/2013

It’s Official: Mariners Call Up Catcher Mike Zunino

The Mariners made it official Tuesday afternoon, calling up highly touted catcher Mike Zunino after saying in the past couple of weeks they would not promote the 22-year-old University of Florida product. He was the first player taken by Seattle in the 2012 amateur draft and the third player selected overall. He was available for Tuesday night’s game against the Houston Astros.

To make room for Zunino on the roster, the Mariners designated C Brandon Bantz for assignment.

Zunino hit .238 with a .303 on-base percentage and a .503 slugging percentage with 11 home runs for the AAA Tacoma Rainiers of the hitter-friendly Pacific Coast League. While Zunino’s batting and on-base averages are sorely lacking, the Mariners need immediate assistance behind the plate with Jesus Sucre on the disabled list.

After the Mariners sent down original starter Jesus Montero, they brought up Sucre from Tacoma. But his left hand was struck on a backswing and is on the disabled list. The starting job fell to Kelly Shoppach, who was never supposed be a daily starter, and has been over-worked in the past 10 games. They brought up Bantz, who has appeared in one game, a start June 8 against the New York Yankees. He went 0-for-2. The Mariners now have 10 days to trade, release or outright Bantz’s contract to the minors.

Shoppach is batting .202 with a .300 on-base percentage. Sucre hit .192 in the eight games he played.

Zunino will become the first position player from Seattle’s 2012 draft class to reach the big leagues.

Zunino has played just 91 minor league games and will arrive in the majors almost exactly one year after the Mariners drafted him.


  • Will

    Mariner desperation is now officially red lining. Poor kid, all he can hope for is a future trade to a legit team … before he flames out due to this latest panic move by the M’s.

  • maqman

    Of course it could turn out to be a good move. He can catch better than what we have and it will be hard to hit worse. He can go back to Tacoma as soon as Sucre is healed and have a better idea of what he needs to work on. Then he could possibly be ready and we don’t know it yet. Who knows? Not me.

  • jafabian

    Hope this doesn’t come back to hurt his development but IMO Montero, Ackley and Smoak were all called up way too early and it shows. Franklin should not be here right now. Unless the club is using the George Argyos philsophy of showing off the prospect and then trade them for a cheap veteran player.