Catcher Mike Zunino is heading back to the minors in an attempt to resuscitate his swing.
The Mariners added to a busy day of roster moves Friday by optioning Zunino to Triple-A Tacoma just prior to their series opener against Texas at Safeco Field. They replaced Zunino by recalling Tuffy Gosewisch from the Rainiers.
Gosewisch, 33, was batting just .240 at Tacoma, but he reached base safely at least once in all 16 of his games in which he had an at-bat in compiling a .339 on-base percentage.
Zunino, 26, departs with a .167 average and a .250 on-base percentage in 24 games. He struck out 30 times in 72 at-bats. He had no homers and just two RBIs.
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Earlier Friday, the Mariners placed left-handed pitcher James Paxton on the 10-day disabled list because of a strained forearm muscle.
They also optioned outfielder Boog Powell to Tacoma while recalling infielder Mike Freeman and right-handed reliever Evan Marshall from the Rainiers.
Freeman, Marshall and Gosewisch were all in uniform for Friday’s game.
The Mariners acquired Gosewisch (pronounced GOHS-uh-wish) in a Jan. 26 waiver claim from Atlanta. He has a .199 career average in 126 big-league games over parts of four seasons with Arizona.
This is the second time the Mariners tried to reset Zunino’s career by sending him to the minors. He was optioned Aug. 28, 2015 to Tacoma and began the 2016 season with the Rainiers.
Zunino batted .286 last season in 79 games at Tacoma with 17 homers and 57 RBIs. He returned July 20 to the big leagues and spent the remainder of the season as the Mariners’ primary catcher.
Bob Dutton: @TNT_Mariners