Mariners activate Mike Zunino, keep David Freitas as backup C

Apr 20, 2018, 9:29 AM | Updated: 1:55 pm
Mariners catcher Mike Zunino has returned from the disabled list for an oblique strain. (AP)...
Mariners catcher Mike Zunino has returned from the disabled list for an oblique strain. (AP)

Mike Zunino will be back in action behind the plate for the Mariners on Friday, as he has been activated from the 10-day disabled list following his recovery from an oblique strain suffered on the eve of opening night.

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That’s not the surprise, however. What was less expected was the Mariners’ decision to option Mike Marjama, who broke spring training with the MLB club as the backup catcher, to Triple-A Tacoma to make room for Zunino. That leaves David Freitas, who was initially called up when Zunino first hit the DL, as Seattle’s second catcher.

Freitas, 29, has performed well both at the plate as well as behind it. In 11 games this season, he is hitting .296 with a .355 on-base percentage, four doubles, four runs scored and an RBI.

Zunino, 27, will make his season debut in the Mariners’ 5:05 p.m. series opener at Texas on Friday catching Felix Hernandez. He is coming off a breakout 2017 campaign in which he posted career-highs in nearly every offensive category, including average (.251), OPS (.840) and home runs (25).

Marjama, 28, hit 3 for 27 (.111) with three doubles in 10 games with the Mariners. Manager Scott Servais called him the MVP of Seattle’s opening night win after he stepped in for Zunino, who was scratched from the original starting lineup, and stayed in the game even after taking a swing to his catching hand.

Coverage for the Mariners-Rangers game on Friday begins on 710 ESPN Seattle with the pregame show at 4 p.m., with first pitch coming at 5:05.

Here are the lineups.

Mariners (9-8)

Dee Gordon, CF
Jean Segura, SS
Robinson Cano, 2B
Nelson Cruz, DH
Kyle Seager, 3B
Mitch Haniger, RF
Mike Zunino, C
Daniel Vogelbach, 1B
Guillermo Heredia, LF

Felix Hernandez, RHP

Rangers (7-13)

Shin-Soo Choo, DH
Jurickson Profar, SS
Nomar Mazara, RF
Adrian Beltre, 3B
Joey Gallo, LF
Ronald Guzman, 1B
Robinson Chirinos, C
Drew Robinson, CF
Isiah Kiner-Falefa, 2B

Mike Minor, LHP

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