By Shannon Drayer
Another day, another lineup for the Mariners.
Yesterday on the pregame show I mentioned that while various pieces appear to be falling into place with this team moving forward, there was a glaring hole at leadoff hitter. The position has been occupied by those who most likely are not a part of the long-term plan in Franklin Gutierrez, Jason Bay and Endy Chavez, and two players who have struggled in Dustin Ackley and Michael Saunders. Well, today an almost certain part of the future will hit first.
Brad Miller, 6
Nick Franklin, 4
Raul Ibanez, 7
Kendrys Morales, 3
Kyle Seager, 5
Mike Zunino, 2
Michael Saunders, 9
Dustin Ackley, 8
Aaron Harang, 1
Brad Miller certainly has the contact ability and speed you like to see at the top of the order, but he obviously is a young player making the transition to the big leagues. He did hit leadoff for most of the season last year.
Saunders is back in after missing a week with an injured finger, and Eric Wedge elects to go with Kendrys Morales over Justin Smoak at first base in the National League park. Aaron Harang, of course, will hit – don’t expect too much there. He is a lifetime .091 hitter.
• Because of the night game in Texas yesterday the Mariners arrived at the team hotel in Cincinnati at 3:30 this morning so batting practice was canceled today.
• Michael Morse was not able to run the bases as planned today because after three days of rain the base paths were a bit wet. The hope is he can get out there tomorrow and then on a rehab assignment. This does not necessarily mean we will see him back with the club next week, however.
“I feel good running, so hopefully soon I can go on an assignment for a couple of days and either come back before or just after the All-Star break,” Morse said. “At this point I just want to make sure I am healthy for the rest of the year.”