PEORIA, Ariz. – Mike Zunino was given the start at designated hitter for Friday’s Cactus League game in Maryvale against the Brewers. The plan was to get Zunino some extra at-bats early in the spring.
“Catchers aren’t in the game that deep so most of the time he’s only getting two at-bats in a game so we’ll get him a couple more at-bats today and then bring him back tomorrow night to catch,” manager Scott Servais said.
Entering the day, Zunino was 0-for-8 with four strikeouts and a walk in four games this spring and has looked a little out of sorts at the plate.
“He’s got some timing issues,” Servais said. “With his set-up and leg kick, he has some stuff to work through. So we’ll give him a chance to do that today.”
The Mariners aren’t panicking. They feel Zunino is now in a position mentally and physically with his swing where he can adjust to these issues on his own and quickly.
“Absolutely, he just needs at-bats,” Servais said. “He’s not the only one. He’s only got eight or nine at-bats this spring. It takes a while. Hopefully he’ll get something out of today and keep going from there.”
Because it’s so early in camp, there are no minor league games being played. The Mariners aren’t playing in “B” games right now either. So there isn’t a chance to do the “Edgar,” of going to one of those games and getting five to six plate appearances by leading off every inning.
“Minor league games don’t start for a while,” Servais said. “Minor league camp is getting so condensed and shorter and shorter every year. We have to wait till they get up and going and we are at least a couple of weeks away from those guys playing in games yet.”
Zunino went 1-for-3 – a single in the fifth inning – in Friday’s 4-2 win over the Brewers.
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