Today's lineup, via @TheRealMariners:
Much has been and will continue to be made of how this order looks. Why punish Figgins for his .331 OBP and recent success, and then give more at bats to Bradley's .284 OBP and recent struggles? Why put Carp in the center? What's the method, here?
But, gun to my head, I'd wager this isn't about optimizing the lineup as much as it is about seeing whether some changes get different players going. Wak isn't saying Carp is better than Kotchman. He's giving Carp a chance to show what he can do. And Wak isn't saying Bradley deserves to bat higher than Figgins. He's seeing whether batting at the top behind Ichiro (and, most of the time, Figgins) gets Bradley to see different pitches and maybe put less pressure on himself. Bradley's struggles have been no secret, and even though we can say that he'll eventually regress to his career averages, sometimes a player needs a little push. Wak, I'm guessing, is trying to see whether this could be that push.
Ultimately, this probably won't change very much. This may not even last more than one day. It's just an experiment, and we're at the point now where a little experimentation really couldn't hurt.
To a point.