Follow us:

Mariners blog

Daily coverage of the Mariners during the season and all year long.

April 26, 2014 at 1:52 PM

Saturday’s pregame notes and line-ups vs. the Rangers — a new lead-off hitter for today

Screen Shot 2014-04-26 at 1.51.18 PM

You’ll notice a different lead-off hitter today with Michael Saunders at the top of the order. Abraham Almonte drops to second and Brad Miller is now ninth. Here’s Saunders’ splits by batting order …

Screen Shot 2014-04-26 at 1.53.19 PM

Who knows how long this change will last? It’s a different look and lefty heavy with only Corey Hart and Mike Zunino as the right-handed bats in the line-up.

Here’s some video of McClendon talking about it.

There were no revelations.

“Just tinkering,” McClendon said. “Trying to get better. That’s all.”

The reason?

“On a whim, I just followed my gut,” he said. “Just sat down, made out a lineup and said, `I’m going to lead Saunders off, and hit him second.’”

McClendon didn’t say the move was permanent. But if Saunders were to get three hits tonight?

“I’ve always said that manager don’t make out the line-up, players do,” McClendon said. “If he gets three knocks there’s a pretty damn good chance he’ll be back in there tomorrow.”

McClendon was asked, who made out this line-up then?

“I’m not sure,” he said chuckling. “I think it was that third scotch. I don’t know.”

While this may seem like a big deal to fans, McClendon was matter of fact in discussing it any more.

“Look, I don’t have have any magic answers,” he said. “I’m just searching. I’m just trying to spark the offense.”

Saunders said McClendon told him last night he’d be leading off today and  starting in the outfield.

He has enough experience at the lead-off spot to know what he wants to do.

“My preparation is going to stay the same,” Saunders said. “I think everyone has their own opinion on it. My answer is going to stay the same. I’m just going to try and put up a professional at-bat. Depending on the situation, you usually lead off the game once, and that’s your first at-bat. We’ve seen Lewis before. I’m not going to go up there and look to take pitches. I’m going to be selectively aggressive. And that was my mindset when I was leading off last year. My main goal is to get on base.”

Other notes …

Iwakuma will throw five innings with a limit of 80 pitches on Sunday.  McClendon wouldn’t confirm that Iwakuma would join the Mariners after that. But if all goes well, that’s the expectation.

Corey Hart was hit in the knee last night by a pitch from Robbie Ross Jr. But McClendon said he checked out fine. It helps that he wears knee pads on his surgically repaired knees during the game.

Comments

COMMENTS

No personal attacks or insults, no hate speech, no profanity. Please keep the conversation civil and help us moderate this thread by reporting any abuse. See our Commenting FAQ.



The opinions expressed in reader comments are those of the author only, and do not reflect the opinions of The Seattle Times.


Advertising
The Seattle Times

The door is closed, but it's not locked.

Take a minute to subscribe and continue to enjoy The Seattle Times for as little as 99 cents a week.

Subscription options ►

Already a subscriber?

We've got good news for you. Unlimited seattletimes.com content access is included with most subscriptions.

Subscriber login ►
The Seattle Times

To keep reading, you need a subscription upgrade.

We hope you have enjoyed your complimentary access. For unlimited seattletimes.com access, please upgrade your digital subscription.

Call customer service at 1.800.542.0820 for assistance with your upgrade or questions about your subscriber status.

The Seattle Times

To keep reading, you need a subscription.

We hope you have enjoyed your complimentary access. Subscribe now for unlimited access!

Subscription options ►

Already a subscriber?

We've got good news for you. Unlimited seattletimes.com content access is included with most subscriptions.

Activate Subscriber Account ►