Ackley sitting out on Ackley Bobblehead Night
I’m assuming Wedge isn’t too worried about matching lineups with promotions and is merely going about his plan of giving various players days off in the midst of this 20 games in 20 days stretch, but we’ll hear from the skipper himself later this afternoon.
For now, all we know is that Michael Saunders will make his first Major League start in the leadoff position. He hit there in the Minor Leagues, but never batted above sixth in a big-league game until recently when Wedge moved him up to No. 2.
Now he’s hitting first against Angels right-hander Ervin Santana, again whom he’s 3-for-15 with a home run and two walks in his career.
The move allows Alex Liddi to remain in the lineup for a fourth straight game as he’ll start at third base, with Kyle Seager sliding over to second in place of Ackley.
Ichiro, a .350 career hitter against Santana (28-for-80) remains in his now-customary No. 3 spot in the order, but Wedge dropped rookie catcher Jesus Montero down to seventh. He’s starting Montero behind the plate and John Jaso at DH, living up to yesterday’s notice that he intends to split time with those two and Miguel Olivo, now that Olivo is back and healthy.
Wedge doesn’t like to get specific on his playing-time intentions, but it seems apparent that Montero is going to catch more than he was before Olivo’s injury (when he started 19 of the team’s first 24 games behind the plate) and that Jaso has earned additional time as well.
Wedge also is giving shortstop Brendan Ryan the day off today, with Munenori Kawasaki getting the nod today.
Here’s the full lineup for the 7:10 p.m. game:
Michael Saunders CF
Alex Liddi 3B
Ichiro Suzuki RF
Kyle Seager 2B
Justin Smoak 1B
John Jaso DH
Jesus Montero C
Mike Carp LF
Munenori Kawasaki SS
Blake Beavan RHP