Jul 21, 2014; Seattle, WA, USA; Seattle Mariners catcher Mike Zunino (3) heads towards third base after hitting a solo home run against the New York Mets during the third inning at Safeco Field. Mandatory Credit: Steven Bisig-USA TODAY Sports

Gators in MLB: 7.31.14 - Zunino Still Hitting Bombs

With the trade deadline today, there will likely be a lot of phone calls and action happening throughout the day. The current Florida Gators alumni in Major League Baseball are not among the trade rumor discussions, but you never know where players where end up at the end of July 31. Here is how the former rowdy reptiles have performed as of late.

INF Mark Ellis (1996-1999), St. Louis Cardinals

Mark Ellis has struggled in his last ten appearances. Dating back to July 5, Ellis is hitting just .125 and is at .185 overall on the year. He is 2-16 with two strikeouts and two runs scored in his current slump. Ellis has been a spot starter all season, and his playing time could be even less once the late season call-ups take place.

INF Cole Figueroa (2007-2008), Tampa Bay Rays

The former Florida shortstop has made a few starts over the last two weeks, but Figueroa has ultimately been a lackluster backup for the Tampa Bay Rays. He has two RBI since July 12 but has not recorded a hit since his first call-up back in May. Figueroa has one double to his credit so far this season, but he has a lot of young competition to deal with in addition to veteran starters on the Rays’ roster.

RHP Darren O’Day (2003-2006), Baltimore Orioles

Darren O’Day has been lights out over his last 10 appearances on the mound for the Baltimore Orioles. He is 1-0 with a 0.73 ERA in 12.1 innings of work. O’Day has givien up just four hits and one earned run to go alongside 15 strikeouts. He looks to be a key part of the bullpen and will be called upon frequently as the Orioles are trying win the AL East and earn a playoff spot.

INF Ryan Raburn (2000), Cleveland Indians

The Cleveland Indians have given Ryan Raburn a large amount of playing time as of late. Raburn has yet to make the most of the opportunity however with just four hits in 24 at-bats. He has one home run and two RBI over his last ten games. Raburn is hitting .200 on the season and has not had the power he produced a year ago. He had 16 home runs and 55 RBI; Raburn is far from those numbers this season.

C David Ross (1998), Boston Red Sox

David Ross likely won’t be getting another World Series ring with the way the Red Sox are playing this year. Ross is having a sub-par year as well with only six home runs and a .189 average. That is below his career .234 average. Ross has two home runs and four RBI over his last ten appearances, but has 12 strikeouts to just four walks. He has struggled just like the Red Sox. Hopefully Ross can end the season on a high note no matter what pitchers he ends up catching if Boston has a fire sale at the trade deadline.

C Mike Zunino (2010-2012), Seattle Mariners

The Seattle Mariners may be buyers at the trade deadline with their possible playoff run, but a catcher is not one of their needs. Mike Zunino is hitting .321 since July 19 with three home runs and four RBI. One of the problems Zunino has faced this season is that he has just 11 walks to 105 strikeouts. If he can be more patient at the plate and find some contact to go alongside his power (16 doubles, 16 home runs), Zunino could become one of the best catchers in baseball.

Other Gators in MLB in 2014:

LHP Paco Rodriguez (2010-2012), Los Angeles Dodgers

Paco Rodriguez made appearances back on July 18 and 19 against the St. Louis Cardinals. He was then optioned back down to Triple-A Albuquerque to make room for Dodgers’ pitcher Josh Beckett. Rodriguez has a 5.40 ERA in just 8.1 innings of work at the Major League level this season. A mainstay in the bullpen a year ago, Rodriguez has yet to solidify a spot this season and may have to wait until 2015 to make an impact for the Dodgers.

LHP Nick Maronde (2009-2011), Cleveland Indians

Maronde was reassigned by the Los Angels of Anaheim in mid July. He was then traded to the Cleveland Indians.

RHP Anthony DeSclafani (2008-2011), Miami Marlins

The Miami Marlins had called up DeSclafani for a series against the Atlanta Braves. They then sent the RHP back down to Triple-A New Orleans to go back to a 12-man pitching staff. He has a 7.40 ERA in 24.1 innings of work for the Marlins this season.

OF Matt den Dekker (2007-2010), New York Mets

Matt den Dekker has been with the Las Vegas 51’s, the Triple-A affiliate of the Mets. He has hit .326 with Las Vegas but was not able to carry that success over to the Mets in his opportunities so far this season. den Dekker has just a .156 batting average with New York in 17 games.

LHP Kevin Chapman (2007, 2009-2010), Houston Astros

The Astros have Chapman currently at Triple-A with the Oklahoma City RedHawks. He has a 1.42 ERA in 38.0 innings. He made one appearance in his previous call-up on July 1, giving up two earned runs on three hits in two innings pitched.

Tags: Baseball Florida Gators Mike Zunino MLB

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