Baseball players are like celestial bodies. Even the brightest and fastest take forever to get anywhere. This is because baseball and the cosmos have a loooooooot of empty space, or at least they do in this poorly constructed analogy.
The Taijuan Walker hype train feels like it left the station decades ago and yet only today, at long last, does he begin his first of hopefully many full seasons as a member of the Mariners rotation. Last September was a delicious aperitif but the time has come for a full serving of the Mariners most hyped pitching prospect since Felix Hernandez was round of face and 98 MPH of fastball.
Oh also it's against arguably the team's stiffest competition for the division title. There are many game throughout the season to ignore, to enjoy the bountiful beauty afforded by the Northwest, to clean house, spend time with loved ones, etc. This is not one of those games. Grab a beer and a cushion and settle in.
|SEATTLE MARINERS||OAKLAND A'S|
|Rickie Weeks - LF||Sam Fuld - CF|
|Austin Jackson - CF||Mark Canha - LF|
|Robinson Cano - 2B||Ben Zobrist - RF|
|Nelson Cruz - DH||Billy Butler - DH|
|Kyle Seager - 3B||Ike Davis - 1B|
|Justin Ruggiano - RF||Brett Lawrie - 3B|
|Logan Morrison - 1B||Stephen Vogt - C|
|Mike Zunino - C||Marcus Semien - SS|
|Willie Bloomquist - SS||Eric Sogard - 2B|
Missing Seth Smith? Too bad his groin is still unloosened:
Seth Smith still receiving treatment for the sore groin. McClendon hopes he'll be able to play tomorrow. Unsure if he's available tonight— Ryan Divish (@RyanDivish) April 10, 2015
Want Brad Miller? Too bad and given this data and Lloyd's track record spreading out playing time it's hard to be surprised:
So, yeah, it's time for the Grit Monster himself. We all knew this time would come and now here it is. It's far from the most ideal lineup and defensive construction for Walker's first start. Until Smith and Chris Taylor are fully healthy we won't really know what this roster is fully capable of on a day by day basis. Nonetheless we press on.
What: Mariners @ Athletics, 7:10 PST O.co Stadium
TV: Root, Radio: 710 ESPN, Online: MLB.com