The Mariners traded Yoervis Medina this week to the Chicago Cubs for a catcher by the name of Welington Castillo. For some reason, the Cubs had three catchers on their 25-man roster, so they’re probably happy to just get anything in return. The Mariners, by comparison, had about half a catcher taking up two full roster spots on their 25-man, so this can only be an improvement.
Jesus Sucre is probably nothing more than a career minor leaguer. His defense is rock solid, but he might as well be swinging one of those swimming pool noodles whenever he’s at the plate, because he’s fucking God awful. Over the weekend, I bet my brother that Jesus Sucre would never hit a home run for the Seattle Mariners this year. With this trade, and his subsequent demotion to Tacoma, it appears I’ve got one late-night pizza party coming my way courtesy of my brother’s wallet.
Welington “One L Whenever The Fuck I Feel Like It” Castillo should probably be a moderate upgrade at the plate over Sucre, in that he can do more than slap singles through the hole the other way. He’s also bound to be a huge liability behind the plate, catching balls and strikes, because you don’t get to trade for fully formed Major Leaguers when all you give up is a Yoervis Medina. Will all this turn out to be a wash then? I suppose that depends on how frequently he plays, and what his presence means for the ongoing development of Mike Zunino.
It’s no secret that Zunino has been overworked. He’s starting damn near every game, and when he’s not starting, he’s more likely than not going to come in late in the game as a pinch hitter, because all the Mariners do is be involved in close games and we can’t afford to throw outs away in the later innings just to give Sucre that elusive 4th at bat. It might be different if, on occasion, the Mariners could rip off a blowout victory in those Sucre starts, but as the Rolling Stones once said,
you can’t always get what you want, “We’re the Rolling Stones and we’re here to say, give us all your cocaine and get out of the way.”
Maybe Castillo comes in and gives us just enough production to give Zunino a second day off per week. Maybe, with that extra rest to recharge and refocus, Zunino is better able to produce quality at bats. Or, maybe Zunino goes right on struggling and Castillo continues to eat into his playing time until we’re involved with a 50/50 timeshare. Or, maybe Zunino’s slide forces him to be the team’s backup, or forces him down to Tacoma to work things out.
Or, maybe Castillo comes here, gives us nothing out of the backup catcher position, and Zunino is forced to remain a catcher who plays nearly every day. Limitless possibilities!
I like the move, because I don’t think much of Sucre, and I don’t think much of Medina. It would’ve been nice if we could’ve gotten the Medina of the last two seasons – might have made it easier to demote Farquhar so he can work through whatever the fuck he’s working through now – but we didn’t get that Medina. We got this all new Medina who’s striking out fewer batters and throwing fastballs with reduced velocity. He might have lost it, or he might just need to tweak some things, but either way, he’s worth the cost to bring in someone better than Sucre.