Sucre to get more regular time behind plate

Sucre to get more regular time behind plate

SEATTLE -- Catcher Jesus Sucre replaced Mike Zunino in the starting lineup on Saturday for the first time since being called up on Tuesday, teaming with Hisashi Iwakuma as the Mariners faced the A's in the second game of their series.

The 23-year-old Zunino had the sixth-most innings played of any catcher in the Major Leagues going into Saturday's games at 662 2/3 and manager Lloyd McClendon acknowledged he's had a little heavier workload than the club would like for such a young player.

"Obviously we played him a little more than we probably wanted to early on, but he's fine," McClendon said. "And he's done a nice job for us."

Sucre, who caught the last four innings of Wednesday's 8-1 loss to the Twins, will likely play about two games a week going forward. McClendon likes Sucre's defensive prowess and said he wasn't concerned at all with matching him with Iwakuma and his nasty splitter.

"He's not a stranger to Kuma," McClendon said. "He caught him in Spring Training. He knows him. He won't have any hiccups."

Greg Johns is a reporter for Follow him on Twitter @GregJohnsMLB as well as his Mariners Musings blog. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.