Here’s an interesting look for the Mariners as they get set to take on newly-acquired lefty Scott Kazmir and the Angels. Jose Lopez will be playing at first base. Mariners manager Don Wakamatsu says he wants the most righthanded lineup possible against southpaw Kazmir, who got knocked around by the M’s while still with Tampa Bay.
So, that means lefty Mike Carp is out of there and Lopez in at first. Bill Hall moves over to second base.
Ken Griffey Jr. is back today. He’s out there right now taking batting practice. Have an interesting story about him for you.
Earlier today, someone showed up with a new, Rawlings S110 reinforced batting helmet that’s been manufactured and approved for use. Griffey was shown the new one, alongside the traditional model.
He wasn’t all that impressed.
“It looks like a motorcycle helmet,” he quipped.
Griffey rapped on the exterior several times and proclaimed that the exterior was no harder than the previous one. Inside, there is some styrofoam type, polypropelene padding (see photo below) that does cushion the blow of a fastball — supposedly up to 100 mph. But it also makes the helmet heavier, something some major leaguers have already expressed reservations about. The helmet has little air vents in it that give it an aerodynamic look. But the reason they’re there is so that the air can
By 2010, the S110 will be mandatory in 16 minor leagues and for 185 minor league teams. It will also be used in the Arizona Fall League starting next month.
In other words, it’s going to be common in the big leagues before long, resistence from current players aside.
Wakamatsu called it the “Gazoo” helmet. Those who’ve watched the Flintstones know what he’s talking about. “I’m not knocking it by any means,” he said. “But it just looks a little bit big.”
Griffey’s knee is feeling better, now that he hasn’t played in nearly a week, and he is expected back in the lineup during the series in Oakland that starts tomorrow. As we mentioned this morning, his issue is one of long term wear and tear. No miracle fixes other than rest every now and then.
Brandon Morrow is having some issues with forearm tightness down at Class AAA Tacoma. He’s due to start on Sunday, but the plan is first to have him throw a bullpen session either today or tomorrow. If all goes well, he’ll be on the mound Sunday.
Wakamatsu told us that Carlos Silva felt very good during his 23-pitch outing for Class A Everett last night. Silva struck out the side, but also allowed two runs — one earned — on three hits. The team will try to get him in a game for an inning or two for Tacoma on Thursday.
3B Chone Figgins
RF Bobby Abreu
CF Torii Hunter
DH Vladimir Guerrero
1B Kendry Morales
2B Maicer Izturis
LF Gary Matthews Jr.
C Mike Napoli
SS Erick Aybar
LHP Scott Kazmir
CF Franklin Gutierrez
1B Jose Lopez
DH Mike Sweeney
3B Adrian Beltre
2B Bill Hall
SS Jack Wilson
C Rob Johnson
LF Michael Saunders
RHP Felix Hernandez