One of the best days of the year, but there’s really not that much to say. If you don’t know everything there is to know about this team at this point, you probably don’t care all that much. So, enjoy the game and we’ll have something new to talk about afterward.
In the meantime, let’s play the always enjoyable, Which Player Would You Rather Have Game, wherein we compare each position in the Mariners’ and Athletics’ starting lineups and pick which player we’d rather have.
C: M’s Rob Johnson A’s Kurt Suzuki
1B: M’s Casey Kotchman A’s Daric Barton
Pick: Barton, but that’s a currently pretty sad set of 1B with decent potential
2B: M’s Chone Figgins A’s Mark Ellis
3B: M’s Jose Lopez A’s Kevin Kouzmanoff
SS: M’s Jack Wilson A’s Cliff Pennington
Pick: Wilson. (I know absolutely nothing about Cliff Pennington. Nice name though.)
LF: M’s Milton Bradley A’s Travis Buck
CF: M’s Guti A’s Rajai Davis
RF: M’s Ichiro! A’s Ryan Sweeney
DH: M’s Griffey A’s Eric Chavez
Pick: Wow. Slim pickings (no pun intended). Chavez
P: M’s Felix A’s Ben Sheets
Mariners win, 7-4!
A few quick notes after the jump!
- Cliff Lee threw off flat ground today, and felt nothing of his abdominal strain. He’ll throw off the flat again tomorrow, and assuming no setbacks, off the mound on Friday. If all goes well there, he’ll start building his arm up. Absolute best case scenario is probably a return around the 20th, but realistically we’d be happy with May 1st.
- Our other injured dominator, Erik Bedard, continues to look great in his rehab. There’s always the chance of a major setback, but at this point I think the Mariners are probably planning on a return sooner than later (meaning sometime in May) and it seems like there’s a pretty good chance he’ll be as good as he ever was, once he gets into the flow of things. An almost year of rest is a big deal, even if he had surgery in that time. Felix, Lee and Bedard at top form would be a site to behold.
- All spring, Casey Kotchman was going to be the number three hitter. Then yesterday, they decided to go with Gutierrez. The lineup today? Kotchman’s at 3. Not really a big deal either way, but I wonder what brought the switch.
So, there’s your notes. I’ll go on record as saying that, entering tonight’s game, my optimism is on the upswing. Barring more bigger injuries (I’m going to stop saying this because every team will be hurt significantly if they suffer a big injury), this team looks decent right now and only stands to improve as the year progresses. The pitching will get a couple of huge upgrades, and the offense has a couple of guys who could surprise, along with a couple who could come up from the minors and potentially give the team a lift. Plus, it’s been a while since Jack made a trade, and we know he won’t hesitate to move if he can make the team better. Should be a fun year. Enjoy the game!