Mariners Notebook: 1st lineup of 2023 has Julio at leadoff, La Stella at DH

Mar 30, 2023, 3:27 PM

Mariners Julio Rodríguez...

Mariners Julio Rodríguez celebrates a double in Game 3 of the ALDS on Oct. 15, 2022. (Photo by Steph Chambers/Getty Images)

(Photo by Steph Chambers/Getty Images)

The Mariners make their highly-anticipated return to regular season action against the Cleveland Guardians in one of the better opening day matchups in Major League Baseball on Thursday.

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Seattle ended its lengthy playoff drought last season and the Mariners now will look to take the next step in their hopes for the franchise’s first World Series appearance and title. That all starts Thursday night at T-Mobile Park.

So, let’s look at the starting nine for each side, shall we?

Mariners Lineup

Julio Rodríguez, CF
Kolten Wong, 2B
Ty France, 1B
Teoscar Hernández, RF
Cal Raleigh, C
Eugenio Suárez, 3B
Jarred Kelenic, LF
Tommy La Stella, DH
J.P. Crawford, SS

Luis Castillo, SP

Guardians Lineup

Steven Kwan, LF
Amed Rosario, SS
José Ramírez, 3B
Josh Bell, DH
Josh Naylor, 1B
Andrés Giménez, 2B
Will Brennan, RF
Mike Zunino, C
Myles Straw, CF

Shane Bieber, SP

Mariners Notes

• This is Castillo’s fourth opening day start (2019, 2021, 2022 with Cincinnati) and his first with the Mariners.

• Sticking with Castillo, Mariners manager Scott Servais said the team’s No. 1 starter will be on a pitch count of sorts in his first start of the year.

“I’d love to see Luis get deep in the game tonight, but he will not throw 100 pitches tonight,” Servais said. “This is not late-September. Guys are still building arm strength and volume of pitches and they haven’t pitched in intensity like you’ll see tonight.”

• When asked why La Stella gets the start at DH against the Guardians, Servais said Bieber, the 2020 AL Cy Young Award winner, has good breaking balls and is one of the better pitchers in baseball, and the veteran La Stella can make needed adjustments in-game.

“He’s been in the league a long time and he puts the bat on the ball and he’ll give us good at-bats.”

• Servais had updates on two Mariners starting the year on the 10-day injured list.

Dylan Moore (oblique) is still in Arizona and will be until he’s ready to re-join the MLB roster. Servais expects that to be in mid-April.

Taylor Trammell (broken hamate) has started to swing a bat and is a few weeks away from getting in game action. He didn’t play during spring training.

• This weekend’s series is a matchup between two of the final four American League playoff teams from a year ago.

The Mariners, the AL’s No. 2 Wild Card team, beat the Toronto Blue Jays in the opening round before falling to the Houston Astros in the ALDS.

The Guardians won the AL Central and beat the Tampa Bay Rays in the Wild Card round but lost to the New York Yankees in the ALDS.

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Date Starting Pitcher
Wednesday, June 7 @ 1:10 pm Mariners' George Kirby RHP vs. Padres' Michael Wacha RHP

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Mostly Sunny
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Mariners Notebook: 1st lineup of 2023 has Julio at leadoff, La Stella at DH