Today’s lineup … and pitching plans beyond

IwakumaCloseThe Mariners are back in Surprise this afternoon for a rematch with the Royals, who suffered just their second loss of the spring on Tuesday with a 6-3 loss to the A’s. The Royals’ only other setback was the 12-2 thrashing the Mariners handed them last Thursday, the game when Stefen Romero went nuts and Hisashi Iwakuma (above) pitched three scoreless innings with just one hit.

Of course, it’s spring and wins and losses really don’t much matter. Which is why nobody is too worried that the Mariners have lost five of their last six after winning 10 straight. The winning was fun, the losing isn’t as much fun, but none of it will matter on April 1 when the real games begin.

How much does spring mean? Jason Bay is leading off again for the second straight day for the Mariners. That’s interesting, since he’s never led off a game in the regular season in his 10-year career. But is he destined to be the Mariners’ leadoff hitter?

I seriously doubt that will happen. But Franklin Gutierrez and Dustin Ackley are both sitting today and Eric Wedge is looking at guys in different places now while he has the chance.

Here’s the full lineup:

Jason Bay LF
Kyle Seager 3B
Michael Morse 1B
Raul Ibanez DH
Michael Saunders CF
Kelly Shoppach C
Carlos Peguero RF
Robert Andino SS
Carlos Triuenfel 2B

Hisashi Iwakuma P

Iwakuma is slated to go four innings today as we’re hitting the point where starters are starting to get stretched out. We’ll see more of that on Thursday when Joe Saunders is scheduled for the first four innings against the Reds in Peoria, with Brandon Maurer to follow with another four.

Additionally, the Mariners scheduled a “B” game Thursday at 10 a.m. in Goodyear against the Indians in ordre to get three innings each for James Paxton and Taijuan Walker.

The Mariners have two more games on Friday, with a Cactus League game at 1:05 p.m. against the Angels in Tempe and a WBC exhibition against the Netherlands club at 7:05 p.m. in Peoria.

Jeremy Bonderman is scheduled for a four-inning start against the Angels, with Andrew Carraway getting three innings as well.

Jon Garland draws the starting nod against the Netherlands and is slated for four innings, with Lucas Luetge, Stephen Pryor and Tom Wilhelmsen lined up in relief.

How those starters and the primary relievers fare is far more important than the final score in these exhibition games.

1 Comment

Good lineup. Fun story. Yeah, the kid did “go nuts.” More later please.

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