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3/21: Spring Training Open Game Thread

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Jon Garland takes the mound for his most important start of the spring.

Mariners and Cub
Mariners and Cub
Rob Tringali

The Mariners last played on Tuesday, beating the San Francisco Giants on the strength of Brandon Maurer's strong outing (thread, recap). Onto the next.

Seattle Mariners vs. Chicago Cubs (SS)

Time: 7:05 p.m. PDT
Location: Peoria Sports Complex, Peoria, AZ

Television: ROOT Sports (live), MLB Network (delay)

Lineup (via Baseball Press)

RF Michael Saunders
3B Robert Andino
DH Raul Ibanez
1B Justin Smoak
C Jesus Montero
CF Jason Bay
LF Casper Wells
2B Dustin Ackley
SS Brendan Ryan

SP Jon Garland

As Geoff Baker writes, this will be Mariners officials' last opportunity to see Garland pitch before his opt-out clause becomes a factor. I think most believe Garland is in, but anyone pulling for Brandon Maurer, Erasmo Ramirez or (for some reason) Jeremy Bonderman to make the Opening Day squad might wish to quietly root for the Cubs split-squad offense.

And as Shannon Drayer lays out, Casper Wells fans should probably hope for a Mike-Morsian performance out of Bay on defense, considering that Wells's "strength in the battle for the last spot is that he not only has the ability to play center but would be a good defensive replacement at any of the outfield positions. If Bay can play center in an emergency that takes a little bit of Wells' value away."