Mariners solve Mike Zunino problem with worse version of Mike Zunino

At the time I am writing this, Welington Castillo is a Mariner and I don’t know what the Mariners gave up to get him the Mariners gave up Yoervis Medina to get him. Castillo is a catcher, but a catcher who has mostly been a bad defender. He doesn’t frame pitches well, though he’s shown what could be growth in an extremely small sample size this season (less than 600 pitches).

It seems like this move comes as a reaction to Mike Zunino‘s continued struggles as a hitter. Castillo has posted pretty ugly numbers this year, after being a likely trade chip for the Cubs early in the season. At the plate he’s basically been Zunino with less strikeouts. Last year wasn’t all that much different. Castillo’s batting average was higher than it is this year, and higher than Zunino’s was last year, but Zunino hit for more power in a tougher ballpark and league.

Castillo effectively supplants Jesus Sucre as the backup catcher, but does very few of the things that Sucre does well (though Castillo is a reputed good thrower).

Medina has spent most of his time with the Mariners as an inconsistent prospect. Last year he averaged more than a strikeout an inning, which made up for most of his walk issues and helped along his sub-3.00 ERA. His ERA has remained good this year, but his walk rate has increased while his strikeout rate has sharply decreased, ultimately leading to a demotion to Tacoma.

Castillo is due $2.1 million in 2015 and has two more shots at arbitration before becoming a free agent. Medina is arbitration eligible for the first time following the 2015 season. Castillo is in his Age 28 season, and Medina in his Age 26 season, but the two are separated in age by about 15 months.

  • mattob

    He’s a backup catcher.