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Topic: jason bay; casper wells; center field; franklin gutierrez

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March 21, 2013 at 2:23 PM

Jason Bay starting tonight for Mariners…in center field

Mariners outfielder Jason Bay hasn't played center in regular season game since 2005. Photo Credit: AP

Mariners outfielder Jason Bay hasn’t played center in regular season game since 2005. Photo Credit: AP

Some of you may have thought Jason Bay leading off was fun. Well, tonight, he’ll be starting in center field for the Mariners. No, Franklin Gutierrez is not playing. Yes, Casper Wells is, but he’s in left. I’m told Gutierrez is not hurt, the Mariners just want to make sure he gets to the regular season healthy. So, he gets a second day in a row off, then will be back in tomorrow night. And the team wants to see Bay in center.

Translation? The Mariners know that if they keep Bay over Wells, they may be in a pickle if Gutierrez gets hurt or sick or whatever, which, well, judge for yourself this spring and…the past four years. So, anyhow, if Gutierrez goes down and there is no Wells, then Michael Saunders is still the only guy who can play center and then you don’t have a fourth outfielder who can play all three positions in a pinch.

That’s where Bay comes in.

Screen Shot 2013-03-21 at 2.28.28 PM

He’s played center field before, but not since the 2009 World Baseball Classic for Team Canada. The last time he played it in the majors was with the Pirates back in 2005.

“It’s probably not a long-term position for me out there,” Bay said. “But in a pinch, I could do it.”

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