The Mariners are struggling to score runs this season, ranking 24th in the majors in runs scored. Coming into the season, there was high hopes for the team, as they made changes to the dimensions are Safeco Park in the hope that they could hit more home runs at home, but that hasn't worked out so well. Safeco is currently the second toughest ball park to hit a home run in this season, suppressing home runs by 35% vs the rest of the league. The team also traded for outfielder Mike Morse, first baseman/DH Kendrys Morales and called up Nick Franklin, but they still struggle to score runs. They even sent Jesus Montero down to AAA to see if a demotion could cure his hitting woes. He is currently hitting just .250-.300-.429 with a 30% strikeout rate.
Today, the Mariners have called up top catching prospect Mike Zunino to help spark the team. Here is Larry Stone, beat writer for the Seattle Times, with the Zunino news, via Twitter:
Got it confirmed from someone who would know: Mike Zunino has gotten the callup, catching a plane from Vegas to Seattle this afternoon— Larry Stone (@StoneLarry) June 11, 2013
The call up is a bit of a surprise, because after a fast start to the 2013 season, Zunino has struggled at the plate, hitting .238-.303-.503 with 11 HRs, 34 runs and 43 RBI in 47 games for AAA Tacoma. After demolishing three levels of the minors in 2012, Zunino started the season in AAA, and it appears he may not have been ready for the level this season. His strikeout rate has jumped from 17% to 28% this season, while his walk rate has dropped fro,m 12% to 6.7%.
I am not sure Zunino is ready for the big leagues, so I would not rush out to grab him off of the waiver wire, unless you are in a two catcher league, or in an AL-only, two catcher league.