Mariners Game Notes: Seth Smith Returns, Cruz Starts in RF


Here at SoDo Mojo we pride ourselves on providing fans with the most pertinent Mariners’ news and analysis on the web. The Moose-ical notes are the best place to find out all the information you need to know prior to first pitch.

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First pitch between the Mariners and Athletics is scheduled for 1:05 pm at the Colosseum in Oakland, CA. J.A. Happ will be making his Mariners regular season debut this afternoon, and A’s ace Sonny Gray will make his second start of the season. Saturday’s ballgame will be broadcast locally on Root Sports Northwest, and subscribers can watch on connected devices.

Mariners’ Manager Lloyd McClendon and A’s skipper Bob Melvin have released the following lineups for today’s ballgame:

Seth Smith Draws Start at DH

It appears Seth Smith’s groin is loose enough to play this afternoon against the A’s. Smith has missed the past 3 games due to groin tightness, but he is batting second in the M’s starting lineup as the designated hitter on Saturday afternoon.

The Mariners offence has been dismal without Seth Smith in the lineup. Smith was key to the Mariners’ Opening Day victory against the Angels, going 3 for 3 with a pair of RBI’s. Hopefully, a strong showing today from the 32-year-old can get Seattle back on track.

Nelson Cruz Get’s Nod in RF

The Mariners inked Nelson Cruz to a 4-year 57 million dollar deal this winter to be the club’s everyday designated hitter. Cruz is best known for his powerful swing from the right side of the plate, but he has started out in right field in 3 of the M’s first 5 games. Seth Smith’s injury has forced McClendon to use Cruz in the outfield, but according to Bob Dutton of The News Tribune, Cruz may be roaming right field quite regularly in 2015.

Cruz is a capable defender in right field, as he played 70 games in the outfield last season with the Baltimore Orioles. He still possesses one of the stronger arms on the ball club, but at 34-years-old, his range has diminished greatly over the past few seasons. Cruz has struggled out of the gate, and maybe playing right field is what Cruz needs to get going offensively this season. Regardless, I trust McClendon to make the right decisions with his lineup card.

Lloyd McClendon Remains Confident Despite Tough Loss

If you spend much time scrolling through the #Mariners tweets on Twitter during the last 3 games, you would have thought the M’s were eliminated from postseason contention this week. The amount of negativity has been sickening. However, Lloyd McClendon stood up for his beleaguered players this morning when talking to Greg Johns of

McClendon is the perfect guy to be in charge of this ball club. For a fiery man, he is a very even keeled skipper. He is always supporting his players, and their affection for him is obvious. He is a players manager, and this club plays hard for him. He will get the ship turned around, have faith Mariners’ nation.

Pick to Click

Logan Morrison is due for a big game. Mike Trout robbed LoMo of his first home run on Opening Day, and he has tallied just 2 hits in his first 14 at bats. Whenever the M’s were struggling last season, it always seemed to be Morrison who would shift the momentum with a hit at a critical juncture. I expect LoMo to lead the Mariners to victory this afternoon against Sonny Gray and the A’s.

Check back with SoDo Mojo following today’s game for a full recap of the Mariners’ victory over the A’s (fingers crossed!)

Next: Grading the Mariners Walk-Up Songs

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