Mike Zunino makes his return to the Mariner’s roster
On Friday, Mike Zunino was activated for the series against the Texas Rangers. The former Florida Gator has been looked at as a premier defensive catcher in this league and his return could mark a resurgence in pitching on this team.
“I was feeling really good — it was one of those crazy, fluke things that happened,” said Zunino, who returned from a rehab assignment at Class A Advanced Modesto. “I’m still feeling good, getting my timing down and just in the cage [before Friday’s game], feeling good. I’m looking forward to hopefully carrying that into these games.”
Zunino is known to be a master of controlling pitchers and framing pitches. While his career started a bit bumpy offensively, he has proven competent with the stick. In 2017, Zunino hit a career-high 25 homers and had an OPS of a respectable .840. His batting average was .238 over the last 2 years, which is acceptabel for a catcher and a huge improvement over the .193 avg from his 1st 3 seasons.
“It’s good to have Z back,” Servais said. “What he does in the lineup, but probably more importantly just the familiarity with our pitching staff and the league. He was in a really good spot [after Spring Training]. He was really swinging the bat well and he was primed to get off to a good start, unfortunately things happened and hopefully it doesn’t derail his season.”
The Mariners on Friday decided that David Freitas would become as their backup catcher, then optioned Mike Marjama to Triple-A Tacoma.