Mariners notebook: Another night, another lineup
Looking to avoid a sweep at the hands of the Astros tonight, the Mariners send J.A. Happ to the hill and have a lineup with an interesting twist. For those of you keeping track, this is the 14th different lineup in the first 15 games.
Batting leadoff as the designated hitter tonight is Seth Smith. The top spot is not completely foreign to Smith; he’s done it 60 times in his career, including 10 times last year with the Padres.
“I’ve done it before,” he said. “Ultimately it’s just another place in the lineup that someone has to hit. It happens to be me today. It won’t change anything about my approach.”
Manager Lloyd McClendon is not looking for a change in approach from Smith at the top of the lineup. He likes what he has seen so far.
“I like his on-base percentage. I like guys on for my big guys,” McClendon said.
The Mariners have hit .254/.288/.365/.653 from the leadoff spot this season. The .288 OBP is the worst for any spot in the order. Smith’s OBP heading into the game is .355.
Seth Smith, DH
Austin Jackson, CF
Robinson Cano, 2B
Nelson Cruz, RF
Kyle Seager, 3B
Logan Morrison, 1B
Dustin Ackley, LF
Brad Miller, SS
Mike Zunino, C
J.A. Happ. LHP
Jose Altuve, 2B
Luis Valbuena, 3B
George Springer, RF
Evan Gattis, DH
Jed Lowrie, SS
Jason Castro, C
Chris Carter, 1B
Colby Rasmus, LF
Jake Marisnick, CF
Roberto Hernandez, RHP
Nelson Cruz is back in right field tonight after DH’ing yesterday. Small Sample Alert: Cruz is hitting .439/.489/.1.049/.1.538 as the right fielder. In the DH spot he is hitting .063 (1 for 16). So much for the fix of the DH spot. The DH this year is keeping pace with the DH last year, hitting .156/.204/.244/.444.
• The Mariners have signed outfielder Carlos Quentin – who was released by the Braves earlier this week – to a minor-league deal. Quentin will report to Triple-A Tacoma, and according to Jon Heyman of CBSSports.com he has a May 12 out in his deal if he is not with the big-league team at that time.
• Once again the bullpen is a little short tonight. McClendon said Carson Smith will not be available tonight after pitching the last three games. I would suspect he would also stay away from Danny Farquhar, who has pitched three of the last four days.
• The error Willie Bloomquist committed in the third inning of Sunday’s game against the Rangers has been changed to a hit for Elvis Andrus. As a result, James Paxton’s ERA climbs from 5.40 to 8.40.