Rodney, Happ To Make Seattle Mariners Spring Debuts
On Sunday afternoon, the Seattle Mariners (3-2) will make the 22-mile trip south to Goodyear, AZ to take on the Cincinnati Reds (2-3). First pitch is set for 1:05 PST from Goodyear Ballpark. J.A. Happ (11-11, 4.22 ERA in 2014) will make his M’s spring debut after being acquired from the Toronto Blue Jays this past December. Veteran right-hander Jason Marquis (1-0, 0.00 ERA) will be on the bump for the Reds this afternoon.
Feb 26, 2015; Peoria, AZ, USA; Seattle Mariners pitcher J.A. Happ poses for a portrait during photo day at Peoria Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Mark J. Rebilas-USA TODAY Sports
The M’s broke even in a their split squad games on Saturday. The Mariners fell to the Arizona Diamondbacks 4 to 3 yesterday afternoon in Peoria. Despite the poor result, Hisashi Iwakuma pitched two perfect innings against the Diamondbacks, and Rickie Weeks clobbered a tape measure homerun that sailed over the 40 ft. batters eye in center field. The Mariners had an offensive explosion in Glendale, AZ against the Chicago White Sox, winning 11 to 7. The M’s got solid contributions from nearly everybody on Saturday against the Sox, but Justin Ruggiano, Dustin Ackley, and Brad Miller paced the Mariners attack.
J.A. Happ will button up the Mariners’ uniform for first time on Sunday afternoon. Happ was acquired from the Blue Jays this winter in exchange for veteran right fielder Michael Saunders. The 32-year-old southpaw had a solid three-year stint with the Blue Jays, going 19-20 with a 4.39 ERA. Happ is a fly ball pitcher, and he should excel at pitcher friendly Safeco Field this season. The Northwestern grad relies heavily on a 93 mph fastball while mixing in a plus curveball, changeup, and slider. Happ brings veteran savvy to the starting rotation, and the Mariners are hoping he will produce similar results to what they got from Chris Young last season.
Bob Dutton of the Tacoma News Tribune tweeted out the starting lineups for both teams on Sunday morning.
Robinson Cano is not in the starting lineup today, and he has left Mariners’ camp following the passing of his grandfather. Cano has returned to the Dominican Republic to mourn the loss with the rest of his family. D.J. Peterson is getting another shot with the big boys on Sunday. Peterson has looked good at the plate so far this spring and enters today’s game batting .286 with 1 homerun and 1 RBI. Speedster James Jones gets the start in right field and will bat leadoff for the M’s this afternoon. Jones had a solid rookie season in 2014, batting .250 and stealing 27 bases.
Happ will hopefully pitch the first two innings this afternoon before giving way to the M’s bullpen. Fernando Rodney is scheduled to make his 2015 Cactus League debut on Sunday afternoon. Rodney had a fantastic season with the Mariners last year. He represented the M’s at the 2014 all-star game, and recorded a league high 48 saves. Rodney was a big reason why the Mariners were so successful last season, and hopefully there will plenty of imaginary arrows being flung by Rodney again in 2015.
Sunday’s game is not televised, but thankfully Rick Rizzs will once again take up his familiar position behind the mike to broadcast today’s game on 710 ESPN. MLB.tv subscribers can also listen to the audio broadcast on MLB.com.
Make sure to back later today for a recap of what stood out in the Mariners game against the Reds.
Next: Seattle Mariners Break Even in Split Squad Games