Mariners Game Notes: LoMo Hitting Leadoff?
The Seattle Mariners (24-26) will play host to the New York Yankees (26-25) on Monday night at Safeco Field in the opener of a 3-game series. First pitch is scheduled for 7:10 pm from the corner of Edgar & Dave. Felix Hernandez (8-1, 1.91 ERA) will get the ball for Seattle tonight as he searches for his 9th win of the season. Former Mariner, Michael Pineda (6-2, 3.36 ERA) will toe the rubber for the Yanks.
The Mariners dropped 3 of 4 to Cleveland this weekend, and the M’s standing in the American League West has suffered as a result. Seattle is currently in 4th place in the AL West, 6.5 games back of the division leading Houston Astros.
Mariners’ skipper Lloyd McClendon and Yankees’ boss Joe Girardi have released the following lineups for tonight’s series opener:
Major Changes in Mariners’ Starting 9
As if having the Yankees come to town is not exciting enough, McClendon has dramatically overhauled the M’s lineup. Logan Morrison is hitting leadoff tonight for the first time in his career. LoMo is the definition of the unorthidox leadoff hitter, but he is riding an 8 game hitting streak in which he is hitting .345 with 4 walks. Robinson Cano will face his former club hitting out of the 2 hole for the first time as a Mariner. Cano is struggling this season at the plate, but it seems a bit extreme to move him out of his customary 3 spot.
These moves are shocking, and it is hard to understand what McClendon is thinking. Greg Johns of MLB.com caught up with the M’s manager earlier today and he had this to say regarding his severe lineup changes.
Mariners Option SS Chris Taylor; Promote RHP Mayckol Guaipe
It was widely expected the M’s would demote Chris Taylor prior to first pitch on Tuesday night, but Mayckol Guaipe is a surprise call-up. The Mariners need a starting pitcher to fill James Paxton‘s spot in the rotation, and Guaipe is a not a starter. The 24-year-old is off to a good start in Tacoma in 2015, going 0-2 with a 4.65 ERA across 16 appearances. He averages 8.2 strikeouts per 9 innings and walks just 1.4 per 9 innings. His 6.00 strikeout to walk ratio is very impressive, and he has tallied 4 saves for the Rainiers this season.
I think Guaipe could be a solid option functioning out of the Mariners’ bullpen, but I do not understand the move. Mike Montgomery was the pitcher expected to get the call on Tuesday, and he is supposedly in the M’s clubhouse tonight. Pundits are predicting Montgomery will make his Major League debut on Tuesday night. If that is true, someone else will have to be sent down to AAA tomorrow to make room for the 25-year-old southpaw. Dominic Leone is a name that makes a lot of sense.
May 29, 2015; Seattle, WA, USA; Seattle Mariners shortstop Brad Miller (5) tosses to first for an out against the Cleveland Indians during the second inning at Safeco Field. Mandatory Credit: Joe Nicholson-USA TODAY Sports
Pick to Click
The Mariners’ offense has been tough to watch this season, but maybe the new look lineup will pay off. Personally, I have serious doubts about that, and honestly, I am beginning to question whether Lloyd McClendon is in over his head. However, I will go with Brad Miller as my pick to click tonight. Miller has only tallied 1 hit in his last 25 at bats, but he is known as a streaky hitter. The quirky 25-year-old is once again the Mariners’ everyday shortstop, and I look for him to make a big impact with the lumber tonight. I predict Crazy Legs will contribute a triple and at least 2 hits tonight.
Final Score Prediction
Tonight’s game features a premier pitching matchup, as King Felix and Pineda are amongst the best hurlers in baseball this season. Hernandez is putting together another Cy Young caliber season, and Pineda has a 67:5 strikeout to walk ratio. I expect to see a low scoring game, but hopefully the M’s can come out on top. The Mariners have been relying heavily on the long ball in 2015, and I predict a late inning homer will lead the M’s past New York 3-2 in the series opener.
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