Well, folks, on the eve of Opening Day, here’s our very first LINEUP TWEET!
Mariners Opening Day lineup for tomorrow:— Greg Johns (@GregJohnsMLB) March 28, 2018
Not too many surprises there. The first thing that jumps out at me is holy moly, this lineup can really smack the ball around. This lineup sports a whopping SEVEN players who have posted a 126 wRC+ within the last two seasons. Our 25-bomb-hitting-soon-to-be-all-star-catcher bats EIGHTH. Aging and regression and all certainly lurk in the wings to take their toll, but compare this to the 2012 Japan opening day lineup if you want to see just what it could be like (ed. do not do this).
Anything I’d do differently? Maybe. The top-of-lineup issue has been hashed out plenty, so I won’t go back through that here, but I don’t mind having two of baseball’s best base stealers at the top of the lineup. When my two-year-old asks me “Where are the thieves?” tonight (yes, she recently watched Tangled), I will point to this lineup card and say “RIGHT THERE”. This will not satisfy her.
Down at the bottom, Ichiro! getting the start is fine by me. It’s Opening Day and yes, he’s old, but it would be wrong not to have him running out there with the first nine. Also, he posted a wRC+ of 62 against RHP last year compared to Heredia’s 61, so I don’t see how you could possibly argue with those numbers.
The one thing I would definitively do differently is Healy and Zunino’s order (this assumes the starting lineup is what it is, because if you think I wouldn’t roll our Large Adult Son out there on the red carpet to please the crowd by patting his chest twice and trotting to the dugout, you are SADLY mistaken.) But honestly when you’re talking about flipping the 7 and 8 hitters, who cares?
So there you have it. Boy, this lineup is stacked. They’re gonna need it.