Baseball. It's back!
For the first time in ~five months (157 days; 3,761 hours; 225,665 minutes; or 13,539,900 seconds) some Mariners players are about to play a game of "real" baseball. Get excited!
Today, Seattle is running out a solid "B-team" lineup. With the exception of Taijuan Walker, who gets the nod to start today's game, none of the other players (except maybe maybe Chris Taylor, depending on how you think the SS battle will shake out) are projected to be regular starters in 2015. That being said, there's still plenty to watch for. Do James Jones/Stefen Romero look less lost at the plate? Will those ~40 pounds that Jesus Montero lost over the off-season translate into an increase in his slugging percentage or a modicum of competency while playing at first base? Can D.J. Peterson hit a ball hard enough to smash through one of the new chairs/walls/façades that have recently been installed at the Peoria Sports Complex? I'm also excited to see Ketel Marte slap some doubles into the gap and John Hicks smother some balls in the dirt and... it's entirely possible that I'm just very excited about any and all things Mariners right now. It's a great feeling.
Also, it's wonderful to see Walker starting the action today; you'll remember that last pre-season he injured his shoulder, missed most of Spring Training, and didn't end up pitching for the Mariners until the last day of June. A healthy Taijuan Walker who is ready to contribute from day one should go a long way to helping the Mariners in 2015. Taijuan is expected to pitch about two innings today. He'll be followed by Sam Gaviglio, Mike Kickham, David Rollins, Rafael Perez, Carson Smith, and Dominic Leone. As a reminder, Rollins, Perez, and maybe Kickham are all likely competing for the same roster spot as a second lefty out of the 'pen (along with Lucas Luetge and Joe Saunders); even though it's early in Spring Training, their performances could be very important to their futures with the club.
On the other side of the diamond, the Padres are running out a lineup that contains significantly more big league talent (~5 or 6 starters). I don't know that overhauling their roster this past off-season is necessarily going to help the Padres find success in 2015, but it will certainly be fun/interesting/weird to see Matt Kemp and Justin Upton (and Wil Myers, James Shields) in Padres uniforms.
- San Diego Padres @ Seattle Mariners, 12:05 PM PST
- TV: ROOT, Radio: 710 ESPN, Online: mlb.tv
- Additional note: Today's game is the annual charity game between the Mariners and the Padres, which raises money for youth charities and organizations in the West Valley. 6,500 people are expected to attend the game, which should raise about $100,000.
|SAN DIEGO PADRES ||SEATTLE MARINERS|
|Cameron Maybin - CF||- CF|
|Yonder Alonso - 1B||Chris Taylor -SS|
|Matt Kemp - RF||- DH|
|Justin Upton - LF||Jesus Montero -1B|
|Carlos Quentin - DH||-LF|
|Jedd Gyorko - 2B||- 3B|
|Yangervis Solarte - 3B||
|Clint Barmes - SS||-C|
|Wil Nieves - C||-2B|
|Jason Lane - LHP||- RHP|