Mariners GM Jerry Dipoto on Mike Zunino: ‘You’ll see him again pretty shortly after the All-Star break’
The Mariners sent Mike Zunino back to Triple-A on Wednesday so he could continue to get playing time through the MLB All-Star break, but general manager Jerry Dipoto is confident there will be a spot for him on the big club again soon.
“One of the things we would like to do coming out of the break is split time between Chris Iannetta and Mike Zunino, but before we get there, we had four games left, there was only one opportunity to play the backup catcher,” Dipoto said during his weekly visit with “Danny, Dave and Moore” on Thursday. “We’re gonna let Chris finish out the first half the way we’ve operated throughout the first half, and (we) thought it was best to give Mike the opportunity to play on a more everyday basis. But you’ll see him again pretty shortly after the All-Star break.”
While the move to option Zunino to the minors and bring up Jesus Sucre may have seemed surprising at the time, Dipoto said it wasn’t out of the blue inside the front office and clubhouse.
“It was part of the plan all along,” Dipoto said, mentioning that Sucre was finishing up a rehab assignment after recovering from a broken leg when previous Mariners backup catcher Steve Clevenger went down with a hand injury last week, which led to Zunino’s promotion. “This season has been about the development of Mike Zunino, and the one thing we promised ourselves and in turn told him was that we were not going to let him sit there and watch.”
The Mariners were happy to give Zunino a short stint in the majors, though, and were definitely pleased with the results in his two games. Zunino went 2 for 7 with two home runs, three RBIs, a walk and a strikeout.
“I thought he deserved the opportunity,” Dipoto said. “He did a fantastic job for us when he stepped in against Baltimore, and he caught two good games for us.”
Listen to “The Jerry Dipoto Show” from Thursday’s edition of “Danny, Dave and Moore” right here.