On the heels of a six-game losing streak and a 2-7 road trip, the Seattle Mariners will make an expected and needed roster move sometime today.

Catcher Jesus Montero will be sent to Triple A Tacoma, while catcher Jesus Sucre will be selected from the Rainiers. Double A back-up catcher Brandon Bantz, who was serving as the starter in Jackson after John Hicks suffered a groin injury and went on the DL, is already headed to Tacoma to serve as Mike Zunino’s back-up.

With three catchers in Tacoma, and Zunino garnering the bulk of the playing time, it appears the Mariners may have finally taken a step back from the idea that Montero will be catcher at the big league level.

What position will Montero play in Tacoma? Well, he figures to see plenty of time at designated hitter and some time at first base.

Montero’s demotion to Triple A seemed to be more likely with each passing day and each failed at-bat. While much of the focus has been on his defense – and his struggles to catch at a serviceable level in the big leagues – it’s Montero’s hitting that has been his biggest issue.

As one of the top prospects in baseball a few years ago, it was a given that Montero would never be a great defensive catcher. His lack of athleticism, his size and fundamental flaws seemed too much to overcome to become even an above average defensive catcher. But his hitting, in particular his raw power to all fields, was supposed to help offset those defensive shortcomings.

But the Mariners have yet to see that offensive prowess since acquiring him in a trade for Michael Pineda last offseason. A year ago, he showed hints of offensive productivity, hitting .260 with 15 homers and 62 RBI. He struggled for periods and his impatience and the plate and lack of an approach were an issue. He struck out 99 times in and had just 29 walks, posting a .298 on-base percentage to go with a .386 slugging percentage.

This season, Montero seems to have regressed. Named the starting catcher before spring training, he lost the job less than a month into the season, and began splitting time with veteran Kelly Shoppach. Montero struggled badly at the plate, showing even worse of an approach than a year ago. And the number reflect it.