Johjima out again
Johjima has a broken toe. Apparently it’s more of a problem catching than it is hitting, because he homered after he broke it. This is the sort of thing you have to be prepared for with catchers, a position where having some organizational depth does matter, which is why Rob Johnson could potentially have a 10-year career without being able to hit.
For the Mariners, the organizational depth at catcher was thought to be a strong point not that long ago, but it’s dwindling. Jeff Clement is hitting well enough now at Tacoma to be called up, but his knee’s bothering him and he’s only been DHing the past three weeks. Not an option, then, and really not worth considering as a catcher anymore. Either he takes over Griffey’s role next year, or he learns to play first base, or he leaves the organization. Both of the last two, probably.
Jamie Burke is filling the role played by Pat Borders a few years ago, so the team can always call on him. Johnson and Burke combined so far this year: .171/.207/.232. Our offense is already anemic enough, thanks.
Or, at this point, you could go straight past Burke to the one guy who really could be the team’s catcher of the future – Adam Moore. Between West Tenn and Tacoma he’s hit .266/.370/.391, and he does one of the things Zduriencik has shown he likes in position players, take pitches and draw walks. He’s probably not ready to come to the majors and stay, but for a two-week job-share until Johjima comes off the DL, it could let him get a feel for what the big leagues are like so he knows what to expect when he’s up here for real. And anything he hits would be gravy.