Hey, guys. It's almost time for more baseball. Also, if you're an mlb.tv subscriber, you can actually watch the game. Woo! This is only the second televised game for the M's so far; fortunately, 20 of the Mariners final 24 ST games will be televised (with 16 of those being on ROOT). So who will we be watching today?
Today’s lineups and future probables. pic.twitter.com/gCz98YCiHp— Bob Dutton (@TNT_Mariners) March 8, 2016
Things to pay attention to:
Nate Karns. This is our first real chance to see Karns pitch in an M's uniform. It appears as though he's battling Paxton for the final spot in the rotation, so each spring training start could have FAR-REACHING CONSEQUENCES. Fortunately, both Karns and Paxton have an option remaining, so the loser of this contest will almost certainly help Seattle at some point in 2016. A thing to watch out for is Karns' curveball; it is very good/fun.
Potential utility players. Today's game features both Chris Taylor and Luis Sardinas (and I guess we could throw O'Malley in there for funsies; dude has logged time at 2B, SS, 3B, and all three OF positions in the minors). Every one of these players had gotten off to a hot start offensively (in super limited appearances), but this battle will likely be based on defensive proficiency. Right now, it seems like Sardinas is the early favorite, but we'll have to wait and see how things shake out.
The bullpen. Vidal Nuno, Joe Wieland, Jonathan Aro, and Tony Zych are all scheduled to appear in relief today. There are likely two or three bullpen spots that are open for competition. Some folks seem to think that Nuno and Zych are both favorites for making the team, but they both have an option remaining, which could impact what role they play to start 2016. It'll be interesting to see whether Servais and Dipoto pick the best players for the 25-man roster or if they opt to try and juggle some players who maybe aren't the best but are out of options (e.g., Mike Montgomery).
Dae-Ho Lee vs. Jesus Montero. There can be only one. (Or neither.) The right-handed platoon partner for Adam Lind at first base might be the most wide open competition that the Mariners have this spring. Lee hit a garbage pitch very far yesterday, but can he hit offspeed offerings? Will Montero FINALLY get it together and start hitting baseballs? Only time will tell...
- TV: mlb.tv
- Radio: 710 ESPN (delayed broadcast, I think?)