SEATTLE -- Mike Zunino took another step toward rejoining the Mariners, taking batting practice before Saturday's game against the Angels and earning rave reviews from manager Eric Wedge. Zunino has been out of the lineup since breaking the hamate bone in his left wrist while swinging a bat on July 25.
While the catcher was initially expected to be out for six weeks, the pace of his recovery indicates that he could be back as soon as next week.
"Zunino's been great, his batting practice yesterday was without hesitation," Wedge said. "Looked good, looked great, fouled a couple pitches off. … Throwing today went fine, so I think he's on the path; what we'll look to do the next couple days is everything. Catch bullpens, take batting practice. If all is well, we'll get him out."
The Mariners signed Humberto Quintero to split time at catcher with Henry Blanco in Zunino's absence. The 34-year-old veteran has played well, hitting .260 with a pair of home runs in 15 games.
Zunino impressed coaches and teammates with his defensive prowess, and he was coming around at the plate before his injury. In the five games leading up to his injury, Zunino was hitting .333 with a home run and five walks.
Jacob Thorpe is an associate reporter for MLB.com. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.