What’s a hamate?
The injury happened in the Thursday night game against the Minnesota Twins when he was hit by a foul tip.
While the Mariners have been streaking of late, realistic fans understand the team was not prepared to make an actual run this year, being 10 games out of first and 7.5 games back in the wild card race.
However, the rest of this season is instrumental in letting the M’s young players develop.
So while Zunino’s injury won’t impact the team reaching the post season, it is a major road block in his continued development.
The 22 year old catcher was called up from AAA-Tacoma last month and was batting .242 in 99 at bats. While he was expected to bring some pop to the lineup, Zunino was only slugging .343 at the time of the injury.
His true value had been in his defense, a large upgrade from Jesus Montero, the young M’s prospect who started the season behind the plate for Seattle.
Not only will the injury take away valuable at bats which Zunino could have used to develop his offense, but the injury is one that has a tendency to sap the ability to generate power until strength fully returns, which can take as long as a year.
Being that the injury is on his lead wrist, it will have a direct and major impact on Zunino’s offensive development going deep into next season.
With the team short on backstop talent behind Zunino, the Mariners have signed 33 yr old, journeyman catcher, Humberto Quintero.
Quintero was hitting .250 with 2 HR and 9 RBI in 24 games with the Philadelphia Phillies this season.
A career .235 hitter, he has spent time with the San Diego Padres (2003-2004), Houston Astros (2005-2011), Kansas City Royals (2012) and Phillies (2013).
Philadelphia designated Quintero for assignment on June 24, and after clearing waivers he opted for free agency.