The Mariners are working out at Angels Stadium this afternoon in preparation for tomorrow’s season opener.
We talked with manager Lloyd McClendon before the workout. He has his opening day line-up, but wouldn’t share it. One person who won’t be in there is designated hitter Corey Hart. At this point, McClendon admitted that Corey Hart isn’t ready to be an everyday DH because of the time missed this spring training with nagging injuries.
“I doubt if Corey is an every day (player) right off the start,” McClendon said. “There’s still some building we have to do with him. You have to look forward and look ahead. He won’t play tomorrow. We’ve got two lefties the next two days so he’ll be in the line-up the next two days. You look at the Oakland series, and they have two lefties. So I have to be careful how much I push him early. He understands it. With him, I want to continue to build. Like I said, if I can 145 to 150 games out of him this year, I’d be happy.”
So with the Hart not playing tomorrow, you assume Logan Morrison would be in the line-up. You could guess the line-up could look something like this.
- Abraham Almonte, CF
- Brad Miller, SS
- Robinson Cano, 2B
- Justin Smoak, 1B
- Kyle Seager, 3B
- Logan Morrison, DH
- Michael Saunders, RF
- Dustin Ackley, LF
- Mike Zunino, C
McClendon said that he won’t be running any straight platoons. Midway through spring training, he said he didn’t think the roster set up for that philosophy. He hasn’t changed his mind since.
“Nothing’s changed,” he said. “I will play the match-ups that I think gives me the best chance to win that day. I will make the moves that I think gives me the best chance to win that day. It’s really simple. There’s not magic. I’ve said this from the beginning, ‘I’m no smarter than anybody else. I’m no dumber either. I know when to bunt. I know when to hit and run. I know when to bring in the right pitcher. Once they’re in there, it’s up to them to get the job done. My job is put them in position to be successful. The rest is up to them.”
Bunt? Bunt? That’s a very inflammatory word around baseball. How much would he bunt and hit and run?
“It depends from one day to next and who’s is toeing the rubber for us and who’s toeing the rubber for them,” he said. “I don’t mean to sound facetious. But if you are facing Justin Verlander on the mound, there’s a good chance you aren’t going to score a lot of runs. If the opportunity comes along, we are going to try to get them. If I have Verlander vs. Felix, I would think it’s going to be a low-scoring game. So your strategy changes that day. I don’t think there is any straight philosophy from what we are going to do from one day to next.”
“I’ve said all along, I don’t know how many games we are going to win. But I
More notes …
Taijuan Walker started a minor league game today and threw four innings (McClendon didn’t have his line). He threw 55 pitches in the game and 17 more in the bullpen. His fastball was right around 93-95 mph. He will start five from days for now for Class A High Desert in Riverside, CA
Hisashi Iwakuma is with the team and is continuing his throwing program. It’s progressing.
“I would suspect he will be back on the mound in maybe 10 days,” McClendon said. “He’s out to 60 feet. He’ll stretch it out to 90 feet and then 120 feet.”