Mariners Lineup: No Raleigh vs Blue Jays, how Santana has been ‘contagious’
The Mariners kicked off a pivotal four-game set against the Toronto Blue Jays with an 8-3 win on Thursday and they turn to rookie George Kirby for Game 2 on Friday.
The Mariners will not have one of their hottest hitters as young catcher Cal Raleigh, who hit a laser home run on Thursday that had an exit velocity of 114 mph, has the night off.
Manager Scott Servais, a longtime MLB catcher in his playing days, stressed how important it is to give Raleigh days off even though his bat has been so good for the Mariners of late.
“I always look at it as seven-day segments. Do we have off days? What are the matchups? Who’s he catching?” Servais said during his pregame press conference Friday afternoon. “… I do think it’s important (to give days off). I’ve been in that spot where you’re running out there and you’re playing 125 games and all of a sudden you’re getting to the end of August and early September and you’re like, ‘Whoa, this bat is really heavy right now.’ That’s what I want to guard against.”
Servais added that Raleigh may still enter the game late as a pinch hitter. He also noted how important it is to keep Raleigh and his bat in a good place going forward.
“I want that bat to keep going because it’s going really good right now. It’s the best we’ve ever seen it,” he said. “And we don’t want to lose it because it’s a big part of our offense.”
For Kirby, Friday is his 12th MLB start and his first against the Blue Jays. Kirby enters the game with a 2-3 record and 3.75 ERA in 60 innings with 58 strikeouts to just eight walks. Kirby was stellar in his last start against the Oakland Athletics, going seven innings and allowed just one run while striking out nine.
Julio Rodríguez, CF
Ty France, DH
J.P. Crawford, SS
Carlos Santana, 1B
Eugenio Suárez, 3B
Adam Frazier, 2B
Dylan Moore, RF
Sam Haggerty, LF
Andrew Knapp, C
George Kirby, SP
Blue Jays lineup
George Springer, CF
Bo Bichette, SS
Vladimir Guerrero Jr., DH
Alejandro Kirk, C
Lourdes Gurriel Jr., LF
Matt Chapman, 3B
Santiago Espinal, 2B
Cavan Biggio, 1B
Ross Stripling, SP
• Springer is back in the lineup for Toronto after a night off on Thursday. He has 22 home runs against the Mariners and has played a lot in Seattle due to his time with the Houston Astros.
• France is at DH for the Mariners once again after returning to the lineup Thursday. Servais said Friday that France will DH this weekend before getting most of the playing time at first base, but they want to make sure he’s feeling 100% after that elbow injury he suffered in Oakland a few weeks ago. With France at DH, Santana will again play first base.
-Speaking of Santana, Servais was extremely complimentary of the 13-year MLB veteran when speaking to reporters on Friday.
“Carlos has been great. I really love what he’s brought to our team, our clubhouse,” Servais said. “For a guy who’s played as long as he has, you can see that he loves playing baseball. And that’s contagious.”
Santana is slashing .276/.400/.310 in seven games since being traded to Seattle. Servais said Santana is bringing a lot of energy to the Mariners and was very excited when Crawford made a diving play on Thursday.
• Injured outfielder Taylor Trammell is “still a little ways away” from beginning a rehab assignment, Servais said. Trammell injured his right hamstring recently, which he’d hurt at the start of the year in Triple-A. Servais said Trammell has started to hit recently, but he needs to do more running before he’s close to a rehab stint.
• Someone who has played a lot of late due to injuries and suspensions is Moore. Servais said he thinks Moore, who is riding a four-game hitting streak and is hitting .361 over his last seven games with two home runs, is making the best swing decisions he’s made since joining the organization in 2019.
“He’s swinging at the right pitches … It’s just been more consistent here recently. He’s hitting the breaking ball better than he has in the past. He’s getting the high fastball a little bit better. He’s earning his playing time,” Servais said. ” … We knew when the suspensions came down that somebody is going to have to step up and play a bit and it was an opportunity for D-Mo … He puts the bat on the ball, he gets on base, he can certainly run the bases as well as anybody. He adds a lot. His skillset, he’s made for suspensions, so to speak, to step up and play wherever he needs to be. It’s a crazy thing to say, but I guess he would fit in that bucket.”
First pitch for Mariners-Blue Jays is at 7:10 and can be hear live on Seattle Sports 710 AM. Pregame coverage begins at 6 p.m.