Notebook: Could this be the Mariners’ lineup vs lefties?
PEORIA, Ariz. – Mariners manager Scott Servais has all of his regulars in the lineup today, but in a little bit different order than we have seen for the majority of spring training. Granted, they are facing the toughest of lefties in Clayton Kershaw of the Dodgers, but Jean Segura is hitting leadoff for the second time this spring and for the second straight day instead of the left-handed hitting Jarrod Dyson.
“I liked kind of how our lineup played out yesterday with Segura at the top, Dyson hasn’t been in there for awhile,” Servais said. “Our lineup will fluctuate, there will be some changes how guys are going, how they are feeling, my thoughts on it. We will see what it looks like today.”
What it looks like today …
Jean Segura, SS
Mitch Haniger, RF
Robinson Cano, 2B
Nelson Cruz, DH
Kyle Seager, 3B
Danny Valencia, 1B
Leonys Martin, CF
Mike Zunino, C
Jarrod Dyson, LF
Hisashi Iwakuma, RHP
Leading off is nothing new for Segura, who held the top spot in the order for the Diamondbacks last year. The combination with Haniger at No. 2 was perhaps a little eye opening on Tuesday.
“Haniger, he’s been pretty impressive. He did some things yesterday, situational hitting, laying a bunt down. He’s done a nice job,” Servais said.
Servais agrees that he perhaps enters the season with more lineup flexibility than he initially thought he would.
“The middle will not change. That’s a luxury; there are not many teams that have that. The pieces around them, there are flexible pieces,” Servais said. “The spring that Mike Zunino has had creates even more flexibility. We’ve seen flashes of what Danny Valencia can do. Taking the ball to right field yesterday, that’s what he did against us. The first thing I said to him when he got back in the dugout, ‘Keep doing that.’ That’s the guy I remember. There are multiple pieces we can put in different spots. That’s nice to have. It wasn’t that way so much last year.”
Servais stressed that these are spring performances and you don’t really know until regular-season at-bats are taken, but what they have seen with the offense on the Arizona fields makes Servais that much more excited to get to Monday.
Cishek getting closer
Reliever Steve Cishek threw a 30-pitch bullpen session this morning, working in his slider. He is optimistic that he is just another bullpen session or two away from facing hitters for the first time.
“That will be the real test for me because you get a little more aggressive then. It’s kind of hard to simulate that in a bullpen,” he said. “I’m just excited to get to that point.”
Cishek is still working through his rehab, getting comfortable with his mechanics and trying to get to the point where he doesn’t need to think about what he needs to do on the hill with the lower half of his body following hip surgery.
“It’s almost like waking up my hip,” he said. “The joint is moving a lot better. I’m starting to get a lot more strength, which takes a lot of pressure off the joint itself. It’s just trusting my legs again.”
He’s anxious to get back to the club but realistic about what it will take to get there.
“It’s going to be really hard,” he said. “I want to be there with the team opening day. My goal was to be able to be ready for opening day, then I realized that wasn’t possible. I had to be able to be patient. It kind of humbled me a little bit. I’m just having to kind of go at it every day and see how I feel.”
• Still no update on Drew Smyly, who was scheduled to throw three innings against the Rockies Friday but was scratched this morning. A number of relievers are now on the pitching chart for that game. James Paxton remains the starter, also scheduled to get three innings.