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3/15/21: Open Game Thread, Spring Training Game 15

Ljay Newsome makes a spot start for a mysteriously missing James Paxton

Kansas City Royals v Seattle Mariners
James Paxton is looking shorter these days
Photo by Ralph Freso/Getty Images

Horror movies chock full of jump scares and blood-n-guts galore are scary, certainly, but the true greats of the genre have figured out that nothing is as scary as climbing into someone’s mind and torturing them there. The first time I saw Silence of the Lambs, I don’t think I slept for a week without dreams of long dark hallways and pits in the ground and fava beans and Chianti. There’s nothing quite so scary, it turns out, as an imagination unleashed and left to roam in the dark and quiet solitary hours. Anyway, apropos of nothing, this:

Certainly it’s Pax’s business whatever his personal matter is but that didn’t stop the LL staff’s imaginations from kicking into overdrive at the news that our prodigal Canadian son will once again miss a Cactus League start. On the other hand, this game wasn’t on TV anyway, so maybe next time the unicorn of a Pax start will line up with the unicorn of a televised game. One can dream (although, unfortunately, one can just as easily nightmare).

Ljay Newsome will step into Pax’s significantly larger shadow, facing off against Taylor Widener and the Diamondbacks:

Old friend Ketel Marte leads off an Arizona lineup that seems to be a mostly B lineup, although admittedly I forgot Christian Walker, long-time PCL grinder, is now a regular, as is catcher Carson Kelly. The Mariners see a lot of the Arizona minor leaguers between Cactus League/rookie ball, the former Northwest League, the Cal League, and the PCL, so the prospect names are generally familiar to anyone who follows the minors closely. Stuart Fairchild, drafted in the second round out of Wake Forest in 2017, is actually a Seattle native, as is Corbin Carroll, Arizona’s first-rounder in 2019 who might make a second line appearance today.

For the Mariners, they’re rolling with a half-and-half lineup today, featuring some regulars sprinkled in with guys competing for a job. Tom Murphy, who has a little hip issue that caused his scratch yesterday, will be DH’ing instead of behind the dish. Today a couple of Mariners relievers are scheduled to make their spring debuts: exciting-but-exasperating Yohan Ramírez, who pitched deep into the Dominican Winter League and apparently had some COVID protocol clearing to do, and minor-league signing and former Rakuten Eagle J.T. Chargois.

Today’s game is radio-only, accessible through or MLB TV (audio only). It’ll air on 710 ESPN on a delay starting at 7 PM. Also of note, game time is 1:10 PM not 12:10 PT, as the rest of the day games will be, now that the lawless DST-unobserving Arizonans are on the same page as the rest of us. Look, none of us like losing an hour of sleep and feeling all fuzzy-brained for the rest of the week, but also the sky should be dark when the clock reads 10 PM. That’s just logic. Get with the program, Arizona.

Also, in your daily Jarred Kelenic update:

Theoretically that should dovetail nicely with when games are once again scheduled to be televised. Here’s hoping.