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3/21: Open game thread

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Hisashi Iwakuma v. Kenta Maeda

Matt Kartozian-USA TODAY Sports

It may be a Monday, but it's also only two weeks until Opening Day is upon us. And today brings us quite the matchup. I'm not sure if it's fair to call any spring training matchup a "revenge game," but Hisashi Iwakuma takes the mound against the Los Angeles Dodgers, who agreed to a deal with Kuma before failing his physical. So I would imagine this gives him a lot of extra motivation. (Not.)

A couple tidbits before the main event:

  • Franklin Gutierrez was scratched from today's lineup. But! Don't start flipping out yet!

I'm officially not worried until it's re-classified as bird flu.

  • Dae-Ho Lee was seen at the Arizona airport last night because he's off to be with his wife, who is pregnant and expecting. Best wishes to both of them! Lee's opt-out date is approaching (various media reports have pegged it as "late March"), so the M's are getting close to decision time.
  • Iwakuma is starting, and the plan is for him to be succeeded by a series of relievers:

I'm most excited to see Altavilla throw because he was the first D-II player selected in 2014. The righty doesn't fit the standard mold at 5'11", 220 lbs., yet his fastball can touch 97 MPH and he could be a very interesting reliever down the road.

Of course, if you're focused on the major league team (quite understandably), Roach, Montgomery, and Zych are all fighting for bullpen spots. Remember that stats don't matter very much in spring training, so don't overreact to one game or one inning, but it should be interesting to follow.
  • And as for position players, Luis Sardinas is starting in center field today and Shawn O'Malley is manning the hot corner. Both are competing for a utility spot, and O'Malley has torn the cover off the ball this spring, hitting .556/.636/.815 in 27 at-bats (though, again, spring training stats really don't matter). Definitely something to keep an eye on.
Without further ado...

Game info:
  • Mariners v. Dodgers, 1:05 pm PST
  • TV: N/A
  • Radio: 710 ESPN
  • Online: MLB.tv