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2016 Seattle Mariners Advent Calendar - Day 3

Today’s nugget of goodness features everyone’s favorite Venezuelan backup catcher.

Day 3 - Jesús Sucre channels his inner Johnny Bench in the month of September

  • The box scores: 1, 2, 3, 4
  • The LL recaps: 1, 2, 3, 4

On September 2nd, 2016, the Seattle Mariners recalled Jesús Sucre from the Tacoma Rainiers to serve as an additional backup to Mike Zunino/Chris Iannetta. For the next couple of days Sucre didn’t see any action (although he did get to attend the birth of his baby daughter Samara). However, on September 5th, Sucre got the start against the Texas Rangers. He went 3 for 3, drove in two runs, and was awarded the Swelmet. Thus began the most productive stretch of Jesús Sucre’s career.

In his next start, on September 10th, Sucre recorded two more hits and an RBI in a 14-3 drubbing of the Athletics.

11 days later, Sucre caught the first seven frames of a 12-inning affair against the Toronto Blue Jays. In this contest, Sucre had three hits (including a double) in three plate appearances; meanwhile, his teammates combined for just three hits in 45 plate appearances. Talk about carrying your team.

On September 25th, Sucre was able to mash two more hits, including another double and his only home run of the season. His two-run dinger found the seats deep in left field and put the Mariners ahead in a game they would eventually win 4-3.

During this four-game stretch, Jesús smacked 10 hits (three for extra bases) while compiling a videogame-esque slash line of .714/.733/1.071. He also helped M’s pitchers secure four consecutive wins while surrendering just 12 runs over 31 innings.

Of course we’re dealing with an extraordinarily small sample size. I do not mean to suggest that Jesús Sucre suddenly transformed into the second coming of Mike Piazza. He’s almost certainly still the same backup catcher-level of player who will give his team solid defense and not much else. That being said, even over a short stretch, what he did with the bat was damned impressive. Recording multiple hits in four straight appearances is no easy feat, especially when you’re only starting ~once a week. For some perspective, the following beloved Mariners never recorded a four-game multi-hit streak while playing for Seattle.

  • Dan Wilson (4500 PA, 1251 games with the M’s)
  • John Olerud (2976 PA, 702 games with the M’s)
  • Mike Cameron (2528 PA, 610 games with the M’s)

For comparison, Jesús Sucre has garnered just 264 PA in 90 games in his whole MLB career. With Zunino and Carlos Ruiz in the fold and Sucre out of minor league options, it’s tough to envision how Jesús would fit into Seattle’s 2017 roster. There’s a good chance he won’t be in this organization for much longer. And I think that’s kinda sad. Thank you, Mr. Sucre. You’ve been a lot of fun to root for.

Happy holidays and go M’s.