A few quick things if you look at the lineup (below), it’s quite a bit different that we’ve seen. Starting with Jose Lopez playing first base and Bill Hall at second base. There’s a few reasons for it.
“With (Scott) Kazmir pitching, I wanted to get in as many right-handed lineup as I could,” Mariners manager Don Wakamatsu said. “I wanted to give a little bit look.”
Another thing Wakamatsu wanted to see was Bill Hall play some second base. Hall has played second base in 97 games in his career.
“He’s turning into kind of that super-utility guy,” Wakamatsu said. “I’m trying find out as much as we can with all of our players.”
As for Lopez, this isn’t a permanent thing.
“It’s just a chance to put Bill there and get another right-handed bat in the line-up,” Wakamatsu said. “We’re going to face several lefties coming up, especially with Oakland, and probably with half of them, we’ll put out a right-handed line-up.”
Wak hasn’t always been stringent about putting together line-ups based on the pitching. But he said he will try and do that more during the Oakland series where the Mariners will face. He noted that the AL West is getting very left-handed starter heavy noting Derek Holland in Texas, Brett Anderson in Oakland and Joe Saunders and now Kazmir with the Angels.
A Ken Griffey Jr. update
First of all Junior rolled in wearing a brand new Seattle Seahawks’ Edgerrin James jersey and said he plans to sport a full Seahawks uniform, including pads and helmet for his upcoming fantasy football draft. He said it was either Edge or a T.J. Houshmandzadeh. Well, it could be worse, he could have went Shaun Alexander. It was kind of a wardrobe day for Junior, he then put on a Montana State football T-shirt that he got from strength coach Allen Wirtala (an MSU grad) to irritate me. And it worked.
After that he opened a box filled with his now infamous white ties, these ones were Ichiro themed. The first tie had this picture of Ichiro (cropped just be a mug shot)
The second one was a pitcher of Ichiro’s dog … Ikqu … or Ikky as he calls him. The dog is an akita and looks like this.
Ichiro promptly tied the dog tie and wore it around the clubhouse.
Oh yeah, Junior’s knee is doing “much, much better” according to Wak and he will be in tomorrow’s line-up against Oakland.
As for Ichiro and his calf, it’s doing fine. Wakamatsu isn’t going to give him any limitations, but won’t specifically call a steal for him. Ichiro still has the green light to go when he wants. The biggest issue for Ichiro and the calf is that first explosive step coming out of the batters’ box, that’s where it could bother him the most . Wak considered giving him a few added days off, but Ichiro has maintained that he doesn’t need them.
Other notes …
Brandon Morrow is scheduled to start on Saturday for the Rainiers and everything is on schedule for him to start at this point. … Carlos Silva threw 23 pitches last night for Everett. Wak said the reports were good, though his velocity was a little lower than they expected. The plan is for Silva to go Tacoma on Thursday and throw an inning or possibly two.
Franklin Gutierrez CF
Jose Lopez 1B
Mike Sweeney DH
Adrian Beltre 3B
Bill Hall 2B
Jack Wilson SS
Rob Johnson C
Michael Saunders LF
Felix Hernandez (13-5, 2.77 ERA)
Chone Figgins 3B
Bobby Abreua RF
Torii Hunter CF
Vlad Guerrero DH
Kendry Morales 1B
Maicer Izturis 2B
Gary Matthews Jr. LF
Mike Napoli C
Erick Aybar SS
LHP Scott Kazmir (8-7, 5.92 ERA)