Mariners notebook: Mike Zunino to learn Ariel Miranda on the fly

Aug 4, 2016, 7:17 PM | Updated: 7:27 pm
Mike Zunino has 12 strikes and only one extra-base hit so far in 2017. (AP)...
Mike Zunino has 12 strikes and only one extra-base hit so far in 2017. (AP)

The Mariners made a number of moves before the series finale against the Red Sox with the surprise move being placing Steve Cishek on the 15-day DL with a tear in his left hip labrum. Also coming off the 25-man roster was Donn Roach, who pitched two innings Tuesday night and was credited with the win. Blake Parker was called up from Tacoma to take Roach’s spot in the pen, while Ariel Miranda was added to start Thursday night and Mayckol Guaipe was released.

After being acquired from the Orioles on Sunday, Miranda was assigned to Triple-A Tacoma. Mike Zunino, who is starting behind the plate, will catch Miranda for the first time when he throws his warmup pitches in the bullpen. He will be learning his pitcher on the fly.

“The biggest thing is really trying to feel out what kind of pitcher he is,” said Zunino. “I want him to tell me what he likes to do and then the first few times in the bullpen when we are playing catch I am trying to see what he is capable of and we try to take that into the game.”

Zunino said it takes three or four outings with a pitcher to really get a good feel for who they are on the mound and how to make adjustments. Miranda made his last start Friday night, throwing seven innings of one-run ball for the Orioles Triple-A affiliate.


• Ketel Marte is making his first rehab start tonight in Everett. He is scheduled to play five innings. The Mariners will take it slow in his rehab assignment and return. Manager Scott Servais indicated that coming off mono, Marte would get regular play but not start every day. He is expected to return to the Mariners early next week.

• Nick Vincent is also ready for a rehab assignment. He most likely will only need one or two outings before returning.

• With Miranda on the hill and Leonys Martin and Guillermo Heredia in the lineup, the Mariners will become the first American League team since the 1970 Twins to have a Cuban-born starting pitcher and two Cuban-born position players in the starting lineup.

• Baseball America has been unveiling it’s “Best Tools” lists. The Mariners’ major league team did not have a player rank in the top three of any of the categories but there are Mariners minor league players -and a manager- on the Triple-A and Double-A lists.

• Longtime Red Sox broadcaster Joe Castiglione was a guest on the pregame roundtable segment. His thoughts on Edgar Martinez, who he saw play many times? “He had no weakness as a hitter,” Castiglione said. “There was no book on how to pitch to him, he was that good.”

• A heads up if you are coming to the game Saturday. With the full house expected for the Ken Griffey Jr. number retirement ceremony and the shutdowns of I-90 for Seafair, getting to the park is expected to take longer than usual. The Mariners will open the gates at 3:40 p.m., with the ceremony scheduled to begin at 5:30. First pitch has been moved to 6:40. You have been warned.

No starting pitcher.

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