Guti back in lineup; Felix in Minor League game today
As expected, Franklin Gutierrez is back in the lineup today against the Rangers after not playing any games the past week after experiencing some tightness in his legs. The Mariners figured they’d take the safe route with Gutierrez, given his history, so they eased back in mid-March rather than risk any problems now.
But he’s worked out and hit in the cages every day, like normal, so the hope is he’ll pick right back up now on the strong spring he’s been having at the plate. Defense? That never is a concer with Guti.
As for the rest of the club, today will see Felix Hernandez pitching for the Class-A High Desert squad in a Minor League game against the Reds’ Bakersfield club on Field 3 at the Peoria Sports Complex at 1 p.m.
That keeps Hernandez on schedule — with two more spring starts after this before Opening Day — and avoids throwing him against the division-rival Rangers. Although having seen today’s Texas split-squad lineup, that wouldn’t much have mattered. The only starter in the Rangers lineup is DH Lance Berkman.
Blake Beavan gets the start against the Rangers at 1:10 p.m. PT and will likely go 5-6 innings as the contending starters continue getting stretched out. Hisashi Iwakuma starts Monday against the A’s in Phoenix and then Brandon Maurer goes Tuesday night against the Giants in Peoria.
Joe Saunders will pitch in a Minor League game Tuesday, Jeremy Bonderman will do the same on Wednesday and then Jon Garland and Erasmo Ramirez are both tentatively scheduled to throw Thursday night against the Cubs in Peoria.
If you’ve been waiting to see the Mariners on TV, this is your week. Games today, Tuesday, Thursday and Saturday will all be shown live on ROOT Sports.
Here’s the full lineup today:
Franklin Gutierrez CF
Kyle Seager 3B
Kendrys Morales DH
Raul Ibanez LF
Justin Smoak 1B
Jason Bay RF
Kelly Shoppach C
Dustin Ackley 2B
Robert Andino SS
Blake Beavan P