Mariners catcher Mike Zunino has been placed on the 10-day disabled list with a left oblique strain, the club announced Friday. Zunino reportedly sustained the injury during batting practice on Wednesday and had yet to make his season debut for Seattle. At this point, it’s not clear exactly how long his recovery process will take.
The 27-year-old was pegged to be the Mariners’ starting backstop again this season. He made a strong showing in camp with a .395/.458/.791 batting line and five home runs in 17 Cactus League games with the club. This is the first time he’s landed on the disabled list in five years, when he missed six weeks of the 2013 season after undergoing wrist surgery. It’s possible that his oblique injury won’t require such a lengthy recovery; then again, MLB.com’s Greg Johns points out that both Mitch Haniger and Ben Gamel were sidelined between 4-6 weeks with similar injuries. Either way, it’s clear the Mariners will have to get creative as they try to compensate for his loss.
A corresponding move was made to recall catcher David Freitas from Triple-A Tacoma on Friday. The Mariners also have rookie Mike Marjama waiting in the wings, though neither catcher has Zunino’s extensive major league experience behind the dish. Marjama took the reins on Thursday and went 0-for-3 with a strikeout against the Indians’ Corey Kluber. Freitas is expected to join the team on Saturday and will likely make his first start of the season sometime afterwards.
Bad news for the Cubs’ Yu Darvish: The right-hander is headed back to the disabled list with right triceps tendinitis, the team announced Saturday. It’s the second such assignment for Darvish this season, but the first time he’s been sidelined with arm issues. Neither the severity of his injury nor a concrete timeframe for his recovery has been revealed yet, but the move is retroactive to May 23 and will allow him to come off the DL by June 2, assuming all goes well.
Prior to the injury, Darvish went 1-3 in eight starts with a 4.95 ERA, 4.7 BB/9 and 11.0 SO/9 through 40 innings. Needless to say, these aren’t the kind of results the Cubs were hoping to see after inking the righty to a six-year, $126 million contract back in February, though the circumstances affecting his performances appear to have largely been out of his control. He missed a start in early May after coming down with the flu and has struggled to pitch beyond the fifth inning in five of his eight starts to date.
The Cubs recalled left-hander Randy Rosario from Triple-A Iowa in a corresponding move. Rosario has yet to amass more than five career innings in the majors, but has impressed at Triple-A so far this year: he maintained an 0.97 ERA, 2.8 BB/9 and 6.1 SO/9 through 19 1/3 innings in 2018. As for Darvish’s next scheduled turn in the rotation, Tyler Chatwood is lined up to take the mound when the Cubs face off against the Giants in the series finale on Sunday. A starter for Monday night’s game has yet to be determined.