Mike ZuninoC | Rays

Rays' Mike Zunino: Offensive improvement neededMay 22, 2020 | 10:38 PM

Zunino is set to open an abbreviated 2020 season as the starting catcher, but he likely needs to show marked improvement at the plate if the Rays are to pick up his 2021 option, Josh Tolentino of The Athletic reports. Zunino's .165/.232/.312 line across 289 plate appearances last season ranked as one of the worst in all of baseball, but the Rays still opted to bring him back on a one-year, $4.5 million deal for 2020. However, while Zunino's No. 3 ranking in defensive runs saved (10) last season and command of the team's pitching staff give him considerable value, Tolentino speculates he'll eventually have to provide more offensive contributions in order to hang onto his roster spot over the long term. Even Zunino's playing time in what would be an abbreviated 2020 season could be in danger if he doesn't get off to a good start offensively, considering manager Kevin Cash will likely have the luxury of potentially holding on to Kevan Smith, Michael Perez and Chris Herrmann due to expanded rosters and a potentially sizable practice squad.
Source: CBS Sports

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