Just in the last 24 hours, J.P. Morosi and Chris Cotillo have reported that the Mariners are hot for a catcher.
Actually, Morosi reported that the M’s are getting a catcher, and Cotillo started throwing out names. Lots of lots of names. Here is Cotillo’s list of potential Catchers of the Future:
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That list is so long that I literally don’t have enough time in my life to go through all those guy.
So let’s instead take just a moment and wonder why the Mariners are apparently eager to replace Mike Zunino … and I suppose we might start with Zunino’s .160 batting average this season. Perhaps even more worrisome, he’s now got a .190 career batting average in the majors, with nearly a thousand plate appearances. He’s got some power, sure. But not enough.
Assuming for a moment that the M’s are looking for a platoon partner for Zunino, that means a lefty- or switch-hitting guy who can hit. And the only guy who fills that bill is probably A.J. Pierzynski. Who’s 38, with a better chance of being Chef of the Future than anybody’s Catcher of the Future. Oh, and Morosi shot that one down anyway.
Among the others, only Avila and Navarro bat lefty, but neither’s done much good batting this season.
Still, the M’s should look around, if only because catcher’s the one position at which they’ve got the best chance of a serious upgrade in the next couple of weeks. The problem is that getting Zunino out of the lineup will make only a small difference for a team that’s 14th in the league in scoring. They also need to get some production from their left fielders, and they need Robinson Canó to start hitting.
You get all those things, and then you might have something.