It's a day full of returns to Safeco for the Mariners, featuring the return of oft-injured
CF RF Franklin Gutierrez against former top pitching prospect Travis Blackley. Blackley's had a rough go of things in 2013, mostly because of an unenviable bout of gopheritis in Houston. While pitching at Minute Maid Park, he somehow managed to allow 10 home runs while facing only 101 batters. That's a 10% home run rate. MLB home run leader Chris Davis has an 8.5% home run rate.
The funny thing is that Blackley and Saunders are otherwise not so different. Just goes to show the difference that a home park can make. Speaking of home parks, both teams in this game are doing their best to overcome the Safeco factor by throwing a very RH-heavy lineup out there, which in the Mariners' case involves giving Franklin Gutierrez a not-so-gentle reintroduction into the lineup. Specifically, into the #3 slot in the lineup. Can I just say how funny it is to have Dustin Ackley in center field and Franklin Gutierrez in right? It's almost as funny as bumping Nick Franklin above Brad Miller in the lineup because Miller can only bat lefty while Franklin "can" "also" "bat" righty.
If nothing else, this should be an entertaining one. Go, Guti!
|Texas Rangers||Pos.||Seattle Mariners||Pos.|
|1||Craig Gentry||CF||1||Nick Franklin||2B|
|2||Elvis Andrus||SS||2||Brad Miller||SS|
|3||Ian Kinsler||2B||3||Franklin Gutierrez||RF|
|4||Adrian Beltre||3B||4||Kendrys Morales||DH|
|5||A.J. Pierzynski||C||5||Kyle Seager||3B|
|6||Alex Rios||RF||6||Michael Morse||LF|
|7||Jeff Baker||LF||7||Justin Smoak||1B|
|8||Mitch Moreland||1B||8||Dustin Ackley||CF|
|9||Jurickson Profar||DH||9||Humberto Quintero||C|