SEATTLE -- Mariners backup catcher Steve Clevenger fractured a bone in his right hand in the third inning of Wednesday's 8-1 loss to the Pirates and will be headed to the 15-day disabled list, which likely means 2012 first-round Draft choice Mike Zunino will be called up from Triple-A Tacoma.
Zunino, the Mariners' starting catcher much of the previous two years, has hit .282 with 15 homers and 51 RBIs in 69 games for Tacoma. Rob Brantley is on paternity leave at Tacoma, with Jesus Sucre taking his spot this week as he returns from a broken leg that sidelined him since winter ball in Venezuela.
"We'll wait and see," manager Scott Servais said. "I'll talk to [general manager Jerry Dipoto] and see where we go. Obviously Zunino is the guy down there playing the majority of the time and has been doing well. We'll make a decision tonight and get somebody moving."
Clevenger rolled to the ground in pain after a foul ball by Andrew McCutchen caught him squarely in his bare hand and he was quickly escorted to the clubhouse by Servais and trainer Rick Griffin, with Chris Iannetta replacing him behind the plate.
"That's part of being a catcher," said Clevenger. "Sometimes things like that happen. It hit me pretty square. I was mainly on the ground because I couldn't move my arm too much. It hurt. It's kind of frustrating."
X-rays revealed a fracture in the third metacarpal bone in the hand. Clevenger said he'll see a hand specialist on Thursday morning and should know more then, but clearly he'll be out for some time.
"We'll have to make a move there and move on," said Servais. "I feel bad for him. I've had that happen to myself before. A foul tip is one of the things that go along with that job behind the dish. It just happens."
Clevenger has hit .221 in 21 games this season with one home run and seven RBIs. The 30-year-old was acquired by trade from the Orioles in December.
Greg Johns has covered the Mariners since 1997, and for MLB.com since 2011. Follow him on Twitter @GregJohnsMLB and listen to his podcast. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.