2017 Already Not Looking Sweet For The Mariners Jesus Sucre
2017 has just begun but the indication from Jesus Sucre’s play in the Winter League down in Venezuela’s Liga Venezuela Beisbol Profesional is that the Mariners backup backup catcher may have a long year in the minors.
Despite his hot September to end the 2016 season, the M’s Jesus Sucre has cooled off down in balmy Venezuela playing alongside Felix Hernandez for Navegantes del Magallanes.
M’s fans hopes were high that they may have a useful backup catcher in Sucre for 2017 as they watched him finish the last month of the 2016 season batting .647 with two doubles, a home run, and five RBIs, but when the Mariners traded for the Los Angeles Dodgers, Carlos Ruiz, it was clear that Sucre would be the odd man out behind Mike Zunino and Ruiz.
Mariners GM Jerry Dipoto has already made it clear that he plans to give Zunino yet another chance to prove himself as the M’s catcher of the future, but that hasn’t slowed the twenty-eight-year-old Sucre who has spent the entire winter season in his home country.
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Unfortunately for Sucre, his winter league season has been underwhelming, not just by his MLB standards last season, but compared to his time in triple-A as well.
As of today, over his forty games in the LVBP, Sucre has a woeful batting average of .233, which is close to his MLB average before 2016 (.177), and significantly lower than his career minors average of .259.
Even worse, in his last ten games Sucre has batted .152, has an on-base percentage of .263. and a slugging percentage of .212, which has a lot to do with his zero home runs in the winter league.
So, while the new year is supposed to bring hope and promise, Sucre’s numbers are trending way down to start 2017, posing a serious potential problem for his future with the M’s. If his stats continue to slide, the Mariners may be looking to use Steve Baron as the back-up to Ruiz and Zunino instead of Sucre.