Mariners add Jesus Sucre as backup catcher

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Friday, June 5, 2015

SEATTLE -- Mark Trumbo is confident his powerful bat can make a big difference for the Seattle Mariners.

Acquired from the Arizona Diamondbacks in a six-player trade Wednesday, the 29-year-old slugger arrived at Safeco Field on Thursday and was immediately inserted into the middle of a slumping lineup. Trumbo was set to bat fifth as the designated hitter against Tampa Bay.

"I think if we get things clicking a little bit and I can contribute in whatever way I can, I think opposing pitchers are going to have to work," Trumbo said.

Trumbo was an All-Star in 2012 when he had 32 homers and 95 RBI with the Los Angeles Angels. He hit 34 home runs with 100 RBI the following year, but played in only 88 games last season -- his first with Arizona -- because of a stress fracture in his left foot.

This season he was hitting .259 with nine home runs, 10 doubles and 23 RBI.

"We've added another professional hitter to our lineup," Mariners manager Lloyd McClendon said. "It stretches the lineup out, it gives us much, much better balance and some much-needed punch."

Seattle (24-29) had lost five in a row going into Thursday night's series opener against the Rays. The Mariners began the day ranked last in the American League in batting average (.236) and on-base percentage (.297), and second-to-last in runs (192).

Trumbo, however, thinks the team has an "outstanding" lineup that includes Nelson Cruz, Robinson Cano and Kyle Seager.

"I know when we played them in spring training, you look at the potential and the possibilities, it's pretty jaw-dropping," Trumbo said. "Having that said, you have to go out there and get it done."

Trumbo appeared a bit stunned Wednesday after hearing about the deal, but said Thursday he "couldn't have been happier" when he learned his destination was Seattle.

"I loved coming here when I was with the Angels (2010-13). It's one of my favorite places in the country, if not the world, for that matter," he said. "I'm really excited for the opportunity to contribute to a great ballclub."

Seattle also obtained left-hander Vidal Nuno and sent reliever Dominic Leone, catcher Welington Castillo and two minor leaguers, outfielder Gabby Guerrero and infielder Jack Reinheimer, to the Diamondbacks.

Nuno gives the team its fifth lefty, third in the bullpen.

"We have the ability to match up with teams that have monster lefties in the lineup," McClendon said.

To clear a roster spot Thursday for the addition of reserve catcher Jesus Sucre from Triple-A Tacoma, the Mariners designated for assignment backup outfielder Justin Ruggiano.

Seattle needed to recall Sucre after trading Castillo. Sucre had appeared in six games with the Mariners this season and was 1 for 15 at the plate.

The club's options for opening a spot were limited, leaving Ruggiano, Rickie Weeks or Willie Bloomquist as the likely candidates to be cut.

Ruggiano, 33, appeared in 36 games and hit .214 with two home runs. He was acquired from the Chicago Cubs last December for left-hander Matt Brazis.