Mariners Game Preview: Nelson Cruz to Make First Start of 2016


M’s look to bounce back against division rival Angels after yesterday’s loss to Milwaukee

The Seattle Mariners (2-1) will return to their home field in Peoria, AZ to take on the Los Angeles Angels of Anaheim (1-2). First pitch will be at 12:10 pm PT at the Peoria Sports Complex. Wade Miley will make his first start wearing Northwest Green in his spring debut and Nate Smith will take the mound for the Angels.

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Miley was decent last year over 32 starts in 2015, posting a record of 11-11 while racking up 193.2 innings pitched. He had an ERA of 4.46, striking out 147 and walking 64 in his first year with Boston. Hopefully, transitioning from hitter-friendly Fenway Park to the pitcher-friendly confines of Safeco Field will allow for Miley to lower his ERA a few points and maybe even reach the 200 innings mark. If Miley can produce an ERA under 4.00 and reach 200 innings in the number 3 spot in the rotation, that will certainly bode well for the Mariners in 2016.

Lineups! As announced by Mariners skipper Scott Servais and Angels long-time manager Mike Scioscia:

We will see the heart of the order all together for the first time this spring as Nelson Cruz is making his Cactus League debut after missing the first three games with a sore knee. It will be interesting to see how much run production this core will bring to the team in 2016.

Franklin Gutierrez is back in the lineup today after going 1-2 with a home run in the opener. Mike Zunino, Boog Powell, and Daniel Robertson will round out the lineup. Zunino is 0-5 in 2 games so far this spring. He will most likely begin the year in Tacoma and is really trying to regain his swing and his confidence. The speedy Powell should be fun to watch out in center field today. And Robertson has been electric so far in this early part of spring, going 3-6 with a double and a triple over two games played.

It should also be pointed out that Dae-Ho Lee is scheduled to make his debut at first base today off the bench. The power hitting righty will be another interesting player to follow this spring as we could see some big boy dingers coming of his bat.

MLB.TV subscribers can watch today’s contest on connected devices. You can also listen to the game on the radio live on 710 ESPN where you can hear Rick Rizzs and Aaron Goldsmith give the play-by-play with the beautiful sounds of baseball in the background.

Next: Mariners Top 20 Prospects: #2 3B/1B D.J. Peterson

Make sure you follow SoDo Mojo on twitter for live tweets and updates throughout today’s game, and check back here after the game for a full recap of all the action. Go Mariners!