Mariners backstop Mike Zunino was placed on the 15-day DL with a broken hamate bone in his left wrist. He needs surgery and is expected to miss six weeks. The team has not yet called up a player to fill his roster spot.
Zunino, 22, suffered the injury when he was hit by a foul tip on Thursday night. He hit .242/.315/.343 (90 OPS+) with two home runs in 29 games after being called up from Triple-A last month. The Mariners selected Zunino with the third overall pick in last summer's draft.
Before the season, Baseball America ranked Zunino as the best catching prospect and 17th best prospect overall in the game. "[He] has all-star potential as a middle-of-the-order hitter at an up-the-middle position, drawing comparisons to Jason Varitek," wrote Baseball America in their 2013 Prospect Handbook.
Broken hamate bones are fairly common injuries, and they are notorious for sapping power for as long as a full year after surgery. Zunino is a right-handed hitter, so his left wrist is the front/"power" wrist. He could return to the lineup late this year, but he might not get back to being himself until sometime in 2014.