Mike Zunino is slashing .178/.282/.356 with three homers and 78 wRC+ in 103 plate appearances for the Cleveland Guardians.
A league-average wRC+ is 100, so Zunino is producing 22 percent less than the league-average hitter.
Fellow catcher Cam Gallagher is at .100/.151/.120 with a -28 wRC+ in 53 trips to the plate.
It’s fair to say that the catching situation has been a mess in Cleveland in the early going.
The organization’s top executive recognized the problem and spoke about it, according to a team insider.
“Guardians president Chris Antonetti said catching situation ‘hasn’t been ideal.’ Team continuing to hope Zunino and Gallagher can turn it around,” Tom Withers tweeted.
Guardians president Chris Antonetti said catching situation “hasn’t been ideal.” Team continuing to hope Zunino and Gallagher can turn it around.
— Tom Withers (@twithersAP) May 22, 2023
Zunino in particular was expected to provide power, but comes with severe contact issues that have limited him in the past.
Both Zunino and Gallagher are excellent defensive catchers, but offense has been a problem and it has been heavily affecting the franchise this season.
After all, it’s not like they have a top prospect with nine home runs, 32 RBI, and a .507 slugging percentage in his first 41 Triple-A games this season, right?
Giving Bo Naylor an extended chance is looking more and more like a potential solution for the Guardians, if they really have playoffs hopes this year.
Zunino does have a lot of power, but a 44.7 percent strikeout rate just won’t cut it at any level.
He is not doing much to deserve to be the regular catcher of the Guardians.
The Guards’ problem, however, is not just the catcher position.
Among regulars, only Jose Ramirez has an above-average wRC+, at 116.
This offense is, for the lack of a better word, anemic.NEXT: The Guardians Have The Perfect Giveaway On The Schedule