Whew OK. So that gives us the following Opening Day roster:
SP: Felix Hernandez
C: Mike Zunino
1B: Justin Smoak
2B: Robinson Cano (still can’t get over being able to write that)
SS: Brad Miller
3B: Kyle Seager
LF: Michael Saunders
CF: Dustin Ackley
RF: Corey Hart
DH: Kendrys Morales.
Now for their batting order:
Leadoff: Crazy Legs Brad Miller — I like what he did there last season, and his speed and experience (though limited) with the top of the order makes the most sense for the Mariners right now.
Batting Second: Kyle Seager — this is where he has thrived most in the order for the M’s. And being a good contact guy he can advance Miller over and hit with some pop to get the game really going.
Batting Third: Robbie Cano dont’cha know — not much to explain here. All I wonder is what Aaron Goldsmith and Rick Rizz will come up with to introduce Cano on his way to the batter’s box.
Batting Fourth: Kendrys Morales — great power and patience protection behind Cano. If they want to walk Cano, they have the masher sitting behind him to drive in runs.
Batting Fifth: Corey Hart — this seems to be his most natural spot in the lineup, where his marginal ability to run can energize the second half of the order.
Batting Sixth: Justin Smoak — if he really has started to turn the corner, him hitting 6th could become extremely valuable for the M’s. Although I think it’s time he becomes an exclusively left-handed hitter.
Batting Seventh: Mike Zunino — with him being able to sit much deeper in the lineup, Zunino will be able to focus on his work behind the dish. And his pitch recognition and patience. He struck out way too much last season.
Batting Eighth: Michael Saunders — the Condor in the eight-hole, if he gets back to early 2013 form would be wonderful. His power and speed would provide serious depth to the lineup leading to a great turnover in the lineup to…
Batting Ninth: Dustin Ackley — Ackley batted .303 for the M’s after being called back up from Triple-A. Could you imagine if he even hit just .280 and had an OBP of .360? He would be getting on base with speed, and turning the lineup over to a couple of guys who have really proved they can be professional hitters (and Crazy Legs).
So there you go. I’m sure a week from now the M’s will trade Seager, Miller, Ackley, and Felix to make me look like a complete idiot.
But as of today, I think this would be a solid lineup to put out every day, giving the M’s a chance to play .500 baseball. And if the boys perform to their potential, who knows what could happen.
A lot will be figured out in spring training. Be there by getting your Seattle Mariners spring training tickets here.