Sucre recalled to take Buck’s place

Jesus Sucre, a 26-year-old catcher who had a brief stint with the Mariners last season, was recalled from Triple-A by the club on Tuesday to fill the roster opening created after veteran backup John Buck was designated for assignment Monday night.

Sucre played eight games for Seattle between May 24 and June 4 last season before injuring his left hand. He hit .192 with three RBIs in 26 at-bats.

The Venezuela native is considered a strong defensive backstop and was batting .274 with two home runs and 16 RBIs in 48 games this season for Tacoma. He has throw out 21 of 41 attempted base stealers and has gunned down 43 percent of attempted stolen bases in his Minor League career, which began with the Braves as a free agent in 2006.

Over his last 10 games, Sucre has hit .375 (15-for-40) with seven runs, five doubles, one home run and two RBIs.

Mike Zunino, the Mariners 2012 first-round Draft pick, is performing very well as the starting catcher. Zunino is an excellent defender while providing 13 home runs, the most of any backstop in the American League. But Zunino has played in 71 of the team’s first 89 games and it appears the club is looking for a stronger defensive presence with Sucre as the backup.

“We have a catcher in Triple-A that is turning the corner and doing a pretty darn good job,” manager Lloyd McClendon said Monday night in announcing Buck’s departure. “We just felt it was time. We think this move makes us a better club.”

Buck, 34, hit .226 with one home run and six RBIs in 84 at-bats in 27 games after signing a one-year, $1 million deal with the Mariners. The Mariners have 10 days to trade, release or outright the contract of the 11-year veteran.

1 Comment

I actually applaud the Front Office for naking this move. Years ago, the Front Office was lamented for keeping players for their clubhouse presence in lieu of baseball talent. This time around, the Front Office is actually trying to upgrade on talent. Sucre isn’t an offensive upgrade over Buck, but he’s no doubt better defensively. If you’re worried about leadership, Buck isn’t the leader of the clubhouse. McClendon is.

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