By Shannon Drayer
With the day game after the night game this morning Eric Wedge took it easy on the team and called them in much later today so a relatively quiet clubhouse this morning. No arguments from me on that call!
Last night was the last night game of the spring. Nothing but day games up until Opening Day so the team will get on a more regular schedule before having to flip to the in season schedule. Today they host the Indians and once more Franklin Gutierrez is not in center. He’s not in the lineup for that matter. He insists everything is okay and everything looks okay. He is working out, not spending inordinate amounts of time in the training room, taking batting practice and DH’ing but it has now been six days since he has played in the field. Somewhat strange.
Saunders leading off again, Wells in center which shouldn’t be too much of a challenge for him. Jason Bay finally got a couple of balls in center last night and had to deal with some crazy wind. “The last one I am pretty sure started at shortstop,” he said. He was just relieved to finally get a couple of plays. “Nothing was even hit to me in batting practice,” he said. “And with Felix on the hill I almost thought about saying something. All those strikeouts? I was dominating out there!”
Also of note in the lineup, Brad Miller is at third. As a shortstop you would think he has played a decent amount of third at some point of his career but he hasn’t. With the exception of a couple of innings in last year’s California League All Star Game, before the Mariners trotted him out to third two weeks ago the last time he played there was his sophomore year in high school. Even then it was just a few starts.
Of note in the Indians lineup, Francisco Lindor is playing shortstop. Lindor was the 8th pick in the 2011 draft and was one of the players the Mariners had in for a visit shortly before that draft. Currently only 19, the hope is he will replace Asdrubal Cabrera when he becomes a free agent after the 2014 season.
Last note, with Jon Garland leaving the organization Wedge has made a change to the pitching assignments this week. Brandon Maurer was originally scheduled to follow Joe Saunders in Sunday’s game against the Diamondbacks. He is now scheduled to start Monday against the Reds.