Did catcher Mike Zunino fix his swing during a 12-game stay at Triple-A Tacoma? The Mariners are about to find out after recalling him Monday as part of their latest round of roster moves.
The Mariners also recalled reliever Emilio Pagan from Tacoma and are expected to activate second baseman Robinson Cano from the disabled list prior to Tuesday’s series opener against Washington at Nationals Park.
To clear space, the Mariners confirmed three moves made Sunday after an 8-1 loss to the Chicago White Sox at Safeco Field: catcher Tuffy Gosewisch, first baseman Dan Vogelbach and pitcher Chris Heston were optioned to Tacoma.
It made for a busy Monday on an open date in the schedule.
Zunino, 26, batted .293 (12-for-41) with five home runs and 11 RBIs in 12 games for the Rainiers. It was a welcome turnaround after he batted just .167 with no homers and two RBIs in 24 big-league games prior to his May 5 demotion.
Pagan, 26, also returns after a steadying stay at Tacoma, where he permitted two earned runs in 5 2/3 innings over four outings after a May 6 demotion. He previously gave up five runs in 2 2/3 innings in two big-league appearances.
Cano, 34, suffered a strained right quadriceps muscle May 10 while running out a ground ball at Philadelphia. He was batting .296 with eight homers and 28 RBIs in 34 games while placed on the disabled list.
Vogelbach, 24, and Heston, 29, spent just one day with the big-league club before returning to the Rainiers. Heston became the 11th different starting pitcher used by the Mariners this season when he started Sunday against the White Sox.
But Heston lasted just three-plus innings before exiting after giving up seven runs on seven hits and four walks. It was his first big-league start since Oct. 2, 2015 with San Francisco.
Vogelbach went 1-for-3 Sunday but committed an error as a one-day replacement for Danny Valencia, who missed the last two games because of a sore hand.
Valencia should return Tuesday to the lineup after a magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) exam revealed no serious problems.
The Mariners summoned Gosewisch, 33, from Tacoma on May 5 when they sent Zunino on a swing-fixing remedial tour. Gosewisch was 2-for-28 (.071) in 11 games after batting .240 for the Rainiers in 17 games.
Bob Dutton: @TNT_Mariners