The Mariners made a lineup change-up just before game time. Milton Bradley was scratched before batting practice because of an upset stomach. Bradley will remain in the clubhouse, and manager Eric Wedge said he could come in and pinch hit late in the game. Rookie Carlos Peguero will make his second straight start in left field.
Peguero had an interesting first start with the Mariners. In a way, I’m glad to see him back out there. Let’s see how he reacts to a tough first day. He’ll face Oakland starter Brandon McCarthy – a pitcher that isn’t overpowering, and throws a lot of breaking pitches.
Here’s the new Mariners lineup:
- Ichiro RF
- Chone Figgins 3B
- Adam Kennedy 1B
- Jack Cust DH
- Michael Saunder CF
- Miguel Olivo C
- Carlos Pegeuro LF
- Brendan Ryan SS
- Jack Wilson 2B
RHP Felix Hernandez (1-2, 4.43 ERA)
- Coco Crisp CF
- Daric Barton 1B
- David DeJesus RF
- Josh Willingham DH
- Connor Jackson LF
- Kurt Suzuki C
- Mark Ellis 2B
- Kevin Kouzmanoff 3B
- Cliff Pennington SS
RHP Brandon McCarthy (1-0. 2.45 ERA)
Other notes …
Reliever Shawn Kelley appeared in the clubhouse at Safeco much to the delight of several teammates. He went to his usual locker only to find it full of excess gear. Mariners clubhouse attendants had another locker ready for him. Not that Kelley is picky. He’s just happy to be back with the team.
“It definitely feels like there’s a light at the end of the tunnel being out of Arizona,” he said. “That was just like an extension of spring without all my friends. It was tough. I did what I needed to do and it was warm there. But it’s definitely a good feeling being able to dress out and be with the team now.”
Kelley joining the team means he’s far enough along in his recovery to be on a daily regimented throwing program that can be monitored by the coaches and the big league training staff. Before in Arizona, it was based on how he felt each day. Manager Eric Wedge said he hasn’t sat down with Kelley to set an exact schedule. But he will. Kelley expects to throw everyday and with bullpen sessions with simulated games to follow later and a rehab assignment after that, and then to be ready to go by June 1.
“That’s the plan,” he said. “What they do decision-wise is up to them. Based on the allotted time a I have for bullpens and a rehab assignments, there’s reason with the way things are going that by June 1 I wouldn’t be fully game ready.”
Michael Pineda was all smiles before the game. Earlier in the day, he got his drivers’ license. The 22-year-old rookie went to Tacoma and passed both the written and driving test.
“I was a little nervous,” he said. “The written test was hard.”
The driving test?
“No problem,” he said.
His agent helped set it up and offered advice as well as helped teach him to drive.
“I’m a good driver,” he said.
So would his locker neighbor Chris Ray want to drive with Pineda on the crowded I-5?
“Not a chance,” Ray said quickly, drawing a playful shove on the shoulder from Pineda.
Now the big question will be when Pineda gets a car and what kind.
“I want to get one very soon,” he said. “I don’t know what kind. One that runs.”
When asked what his dream car would be? Pineda gave it some thought.
“Range Rover, Maserati,” he said with a grin.
The Rainiers will get some much-needed offensive help as Matt Mangini was activated and then optioned to Tacoma earlier today. Mangini suffered a severely strained quad in spring training. It will be interesting with Alex Liddi in Tacoma if Mangini shares time at third. He’s not good defensively, maybe even worse than Liddi. Mangini can play first base, and I would expect him to see some time there. Tacoma has Matt Tuiasosopo and Mike Carp and Johan Limonta, who can all play first base. But Carp and Tui can also play left field and then there is the DH. Daren Brown is good at juggling these kinds of things.