Tampa Bay Rays News: Mike Zunino is hoping to improve upon his .165 average last season. Today, he blasted two homers in a simulated game.
The Tampa Bay Rays signed Mike Zunino to a $4.5 million contract this offseason to keep him in Tampa at least one more season. Zunino is known for his glovework and for hitting the occasional home run.
In the grand scheme of things, his .165 average last season wasn’t much worse than his current career average of .202.
Juan Toribio of MLB.com reported that Zunino clobbered two homers today and looked sharper in the box as a result of a lot of work with Rays’ hitting coach and International League Hall of Famer Chad Mottola.
Toribio reports that Zunino is usually one of the first people on the field and usually begins his day in the cage. Today, that work appeared to be bearing fruit as he homered off of Sean Gilmartin and a second blast off of prospect Shane McClanahan.
The team has confidence in his abilities behind the plate, so much so, they are willing to take the hit offensively. However, if Zunino is able to turn his fortunes around with the bat this season it would be a humongous boost to a Rays lineup that already packs a lot of punch.
Zunino has reached 20 or more homers in three different seasons since 2014.
Tampa Bay Rays – News Around MLB
- Yasiel Puig has reportedly agreed to a deal with the Atlanta Braves. The Braves and Rays will face off in the second series of the season.
- The Rays were picked by MLB.com as the second-best rotation in the game, behind only the Washington Nationals.
- Randy Arozarena, Yonny Chirinos, and Jose Marinez have been absent since the beginning of camp. Brendan McKay hasn’t been seen working in over a week, and Austin Meadows has not been in action since the very first workout on July 3. We won’t speculate on the reasons.
The return of Glasnow is great news in and of itself, but to see him exceed three innings in his first outing is cause for plenty of optimism.