08/14/12 2:51 AM ET
Zunino earns promotion to Double-A Jackson
By Josh Liebeskind / MLB.com
The team confirmed on Monday that the former University of Florida catcher had been promoted from Class A Everett to Double-A Jackson.
Zunino hit .373 (41-for-110) with 10 doubles, 10 home runs and 35 RBIs while with Everett. He reached base safely in 26 of his 29 games and drew 18 walks. A three-time Northwest League Player of the Week, Zunino brings a five-game hitting streak to Jackson.
"He's a mature young man from a major college," Mariners manager Eric Wedge said. "I think he'll make that transition without any problem."
First priority: Find replacement for injured Carp
SEATTLE -- It appears Mike Carp is headed to the disabled list for the third time this season. Mariners manager Eric Wedge said after Monday's 4-1 loss to the Rays that there was a "pretty good chance" the Mariners would be placing Carp on the DL.
Carp exited Sunday's game in Anaheim after he felt something pop in his right hip as he stretched to receive a throw at first and was not in Monday's lineup while the team waited for his MRI results. Wedge did not specify the injury, but said, "he does have something going on."
"With Carp, it's more about the position he plays, because he can feel good in a couple days and he goes out there in three or four days and stretches again, which you're going to have to do, and then we re-injure it," Wedge said. "That's not what we want to do, so we want to try to nip this in the bud."
Wedge said there has not yet been a decision on who the Mariners would recall to take Carp's spot on the 25-man roster, should he go on the DL.
Second baseman Dustin Ackley made his seventh start of the season at first base on Monday. Regular third baseman Kyle Seager moved to second and utility man Chone Figgins manned the hot corner for Monday's game against the Rays.
Carp, who has had two separate stints on the disabled list this season for a right shoulder injury, is the only first baseman on the current roster after Justin Smoak was optioned to Triple-A Tacoma on July 23. Smoak entered Monday hitting .222 in 19 games with Tacoma and Wedge said "there's a chance" he could rejoin the big league club.
"He's making some progress, he's just working on his swing," Wedge said. "He obviously played a great first base for us up here, so he's just down there to work on his swing, shorten up to the baseball a little bit, be a little more consistent with his swing in games.
"Like I said, we've seen it a lot in BP, but it's just been inconsistent in games. He's moving in the right direction. No timetable. Just being more consistent. When he's best, he's nice and loose and goes right to the baseball. That's what we want him to do."
Another possibility at first would be Jesus Montero. The 22-year-old rookie catcher has never made a Major League appearance at first, but has been working at the position throughout the year. Wedge didn't rule out the possibility of seeing Montero in the field this year, but did say he didn't think he was ready.
One catcher that Wedge all but ruled out of the first base conversation is John Jaso, who also has been taking ground balls at first.
"He's over there if we absolutely need him," Wedge said, "But I don't see that happening right now."
Gutierrez slowed in return from concussion
SEATTLE -- Franklin Gutierrez's frustrating season has perhaps taken a turn for the better.
Out for the past six weeks after suffering a concussion, Gutierrez was supposed to start a rehab assignment with Class A Everett on Sunday, but that was delayed when the outfielder experienced a recurrence of headaches.
Gutierrez saw the doctor again and manager Eric Wedge said they are changing some medications, which will hopefully yield better results.
"[We] feel like that's going to help him," Wedge said "He's going to be exercising today, back to baseball activity [Tuesday] and keep progressing from there."
Gutierrez has appeared in only 12 games this season, as he's dealt with a partially torn pectoral muscle and plantar fasciitis, along with the concussion he suffered June 28 against the Red Sox.
"Nobody's more frustrated than Gut, I think everybody understands that," Wedge said. "All the emotional roller coaster he's been on. Obviously it's a big loss for us. Defensively it's a big loss for us. Offensively, a veteran right-handed bat we could really use. Obviously what he means for us in the outfield and the way we're able to spread other people around, has a big impact on us too."
While the Mariners struggled at times on their recent road trip, Jesus Montero was doing just the opposite. Montero has 13 hits in his last seven games and hit two home runs in Sunday's victory over the Angels.
"He's been better, particularly against right-handers," Mariners manager Eric Wedge said. "It looks like he's seeing the ball better, seeing the breaking balls better, laying off some pitches he needs to lay off and squaring up some pitches he should be squaring up. We're trying to get all of our guys to do a better job of hitting the fastball and not missing."
Casper Wells was not in the starting lineup on Monday for the third consecutive day, but Wedge said to expect the outfielder back on Tuesday.
"I've been taking a better look at [Eric] Thames and Trayvon [Robinson], just trying to put the best lineup out there," Wedge said. "Casper's been struggling a little bit lately, I'm going to give him a couple days, get him back in there against the left-hander [Matt Moore on Tuesday] and go from there."
The Mariners entered Monday with a seven-game home winning streak, which dates back to July 26.
Josh Liebeskind is an associate reporter for MLB.com. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.