(1090 The Fan / AP) – The Seattle Mariners have sent slumping catcher Jesus Montero to the minor leagues.

The Tacoma Rainiers will send up catcher Jesus Sucre — Double-A back-up catcher Brandon Bantz will take his place in Tacoma.

Montero’s presence will likely not affect catcher Mike Zunino’s playing time behind the plate; Zunino is regarded as the Mariners’ catcher of the future. Instead, Montero will probably become the regular designated hitter and spend some time at first base.

The 23-year-old Montero is hitting .208 with three home runs and nine RBIs. He hit .260 with 15 homers and 62 RBIs last year in his first full season in the majors.

(TM and © Copyright 2013 CBS Radio Inc. and its relevant subsidiaries. CBS RADIO and EYE Logo TM and Copyright 2012 CBS Broadcasting Inc. Used under license. All Rights Reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed. The Associated Press contributed to this report.)



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