It's another day, another baseball game for the players of the Seattle Mariners baseball club of Seattle, Washington. Well, that is unless your name is Michael Saunders. Because if your name is Michael Saunders, you will not be starting today's baseball game against the visiting Los Angeles Angels. Instead, you will be watching your teammate Stefen Romero take your place in the starting lineup, one Stefen Romero worthy of words written by irritated baseball fans, as well as apparently every start against a left-handed pitcher this side of Mars. At least he isn't DH'ing. No, Lloyd gave that honor today to someone much more worthy--John Buck.
But whatever. For every zit, Lloyd seems to be willing to concede something shiny and nice. Today it's Nick Franklin starting at shortstop over Brad Miller, which is probably just because he can bat right handed and Lloyd is ridiculously obsessed with splits, but I'd like to pretend it's because he wants to give more time to someone who appears a bit more capable of the current job. Yes, it's platoon city against a lefty--the Mariners will be taking on Head and Shoulders hair model extraordinaire C.J. Wilson in hopes to steer the ship back to .500 before a tough series against the Tigers this weekend.
Despite the doom and gloom over Paxton and Taijuan during the past couple months, as well as the apparent willingness to stick with at least one guaranteed black hole in the lineup every day (which isn't exactly Lloyd's fault), I thought I'd check back at the opening day lineups to see how they differ, considering that was the last time Felix faced the Angels. Here's where everything lined up then vs today:
- Abraham Almonte/James Jones
- Brad Miller/Stefen Romero
- Robinson Cano/Robinson Cano
- Justin Smoak/Justin Smoak
- Logan Morrison/Kyle Seager
- Kyle Seager/John Buck
- Michael Saunders/Dustin Ackley
- Dustin Ackley/Mike Zunino
- Mike Zunino/Nick Franklin
Starting John Buck at DH is really weird, and therefore kind of ruins this entire experiment. It also ignores trends like Michael Saunders getting recent productive starts in the two-hole. But all in all, and knowing how the past two months have worked out, it's kind of interesting imagine what we would have thought of these lineups back then. Brad Miller constantly in the nine-hole. Jones in for a struggling Almonte. Smoak and Hart and Seager constantly rotating the four-hole. And of course, Nick Franklin.
But anyway, the good news is that it's Felix Day! And this being Felix's last May start, should warrant the beginning of an upward tick for the King, for no other reason than it always seems to happen and I'm tired of negative trends. Don't forget, also, that Taijuan is pitching in Tacoma tonight. Xavier Nady just reported to the M's complex in Peoria to presumably get ready to join the Rainiers, so it looks like there will be some changes coming one way or the other soon.
- Angels @ Mariners, 7:10 PM PST
- TV: ROOT, Radio: 710 ESPN
|LOS ANGELES ANGELS||SEATTLE MARINERS|
|Howie Kendrick - 2B||James Jones - CF|
|Mike Trout - CF||Stefen Romero - RF|
|Albert Pujols - 1B||Robinson Cano - 2B|
|David Freese - 3B||Justin Smoak - 1B|
|Raul Ibanez - DH||Kyle Seager - 3B|
|Erick Aybar - SS||John Buck - DH|
|Kole Calhoun - RF||Dustin Ackley - LF|
|Hank Conger - C||Mike Zunino - C|
|Collin Cowgill - LF||Nick Franklin - SS|
|C.J. Wilson - LHP||Felix Hernandez - RHP|