Mariners Insider Blog

Mariners minor league report. April 9, 2013: Zunino keeps hitting and hitting

Mike Zunino keeps hitting and hitting at Triple A. He's now driven in 12 runs after his four RBI night the Rainiers' win over Sacramento. He hit his third home of the season.

People have asked me when he will be called up, I'm guessing they will need more than a week's worth of games to make that determination. It seems logical to give it at least a month.  As with early struggles, early success can be fleeting.

Ask Eric Wedge, who was asked about Dustin Ackley's struggles.

"You’re not allowed to say slow start after a week,"  Wedge said. "You’re just not allowed to do it. Because then you have to say a slow start for maybe other people you aren't concerned about with same start, or a great start for others that's maybe unreaslitic too. We’ve hit some balls here early on that will eventually translate. We’ve got to give them some time to settle in. Then you’ll find out where you are. Then if there’s any adjustments you need to make, you make them.”

That also the thinking for good starts too. The Mariners obviously believe that Zunino is going to hit. But like this? That's unfair.

As has been mentioned before, there is the Super 2 issue.What is Super 2? Here's a good explanation from Fangraphs ...

Normally, players must have accrued at least three years of MLB service time before they can be eligible for salary arbitration — or in other words, until they can negotiate their salary and not have it automatically set by their club. But certain players with less than three years of service time can also become eligible for arbitration, if they meet the following criteria:

● If they have less than three years of service time, but more than two.

● If they rank within the top 22% of all 2-year players in terms of service time.

So if a player finishes a season and is just shy of three years of service time (say, 2 years and 171 days) then MLB will award them Super Two status and they’ll be eligible for arbitration. Since these players are still under team control for another three seasons, that means Super Two players get four year of salary arbitration instead of the typical three.

The Super Two cutoff used to stand at 17%, but got changed to 22% in the new CBA negotiations. This means that if a team wants to keep a player in the minors until after the Super Two cutoff, they will have to keep that player in the minors for even longer than before. Considering that the cutoff used to fall sometime in June — it varied from year to year, as the 17% cutoff isn’t tied to a specific date — it will likely end up being in July going forward.Look I know fans don't want to hear about that stuff, even if it is prudent. But if you are going to risk that issue by calling him up early, you damn well better be sure that he's going to stick and contribute. If not, it's bad business for your organization and not good for the prospect.

Elsewhere, Double A Jackson picked up its second straight win, picking up a 1-0 win.

Class A High Desert lost 6-2

Clinton came up short against Kane County