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Blowers on Baseball: Zunino gets first MLB start tonight

By Alex Gallant

Special to

As the Mariners go for their first series sweep of the season, catcher Mike Zunino will make his major-league debut.

Zunino was the No. 3 overall pick of the 2012 MLB Draft, and he’ll be taking the field in Seattle tonight a little over a year after he was selected.

He has experienced the highs and the lows of the minor league ranks, as he steamrolled through time with short-season single-A Everett and double-A Jackson, but has had some struggles at the plate this season with the Rainiers, as pitchers adjust to his current strengths and weaknesses.

But, as a catcher, how he fares at the plate isn’t always the focal point.

In this evening’s “Blowers on Baseball,” TV analyst Mike Blowers discussed what’s most important for Zunino to focus on tonight.

“I think first and foremost (he’s thinking about) doing his job behind the dish, and dealing with Bonderman tonight, helping his pitcher out,” Blowers said.

Although there is a feeling that Zunino may not be completely ready for the big league level at this stage of his career, the Mariners need catching help given the bevy of injuries they’ve had, so now is as good a time as any to gets his feet wet at least.

“I don’t think there should be any pressure on him at this point,” Blowers said. “There’s a need up here. They’ve had a bad run at the catching position … the bottom line is that he was going to be here at some point this year. So why not expose him now. You have a need, the organization feels good about his ability to catch the ball and throw it, and that’s the priority … I think the experience alone will be good for him.”

You can check out the rest of “Blowers on Baseball” here.

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