Updated Mar 6, 2013 - 9:52 am
Lineup and shakeup at the top
And there it is. Franklin Gutierrez and Dustin Ackley in the same lineup with Gutierrez leading off. Eric Wedge going with the R-L-R-L (S)-R-L that perhaps we will see during the season.
The other thing of note is this is the Smoakless lineup. How much of that we see during the season remains to be seen, but this is how you get Kendrys Morales, Jason Bay, Raul Ibanez and Michael Morse in the lineup at the same time. Of course then you have the defense to deal with.
Of that defense, Morales looks solid at first. Smoak is much better but Moraeles can play the position. He has played a good deal of it down here and has held up well. My only concern with Morales is the lack of speed. It's Monteroish, but welcome to the club. This team will not be lighting it up on the basepaths.
The outfield defense will be another matter. Despite saying that Morse would play mostly left this winter Wedge has had him in mostly right. He has been about what I think most of us expected out there. I haven't seen enough of Bay to get a real read on him in left but so far he is making the plays. What I need to watch at this point is how many balls fall in when the two are on the field at the same time. We have seen a good amount of that in right, not so much in left. Just how much can Wedge afford to give up in defense remains to be seen.
Of course Michael Saunders should play a big part in this, which will help. Saunders, by the way, is a big hero in Canada this morning after leading Team Canada to a 7-4 exhibition victory over the Brewers. Being a Mariner he, of course, had to homer in that game. Does that count in the streak?
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