mariners

The Seattle Mariners starting lineup on April 1st, 2013 will be…

Five days from start of the season

Seattle Mariners Bench boss Eric Wedge has given enough clues for the lineup on Monday night…right?

Spring Training has been nothing less than exciting for the Mariners, something that has not been said around Seattle for quite some time. With plenty of wins and a spring home run record, a breakout year is more likely that ever.

So, who will the M’s role out with against the A’s on Monday, the uncertainty has been half the fun, but it is time to get real.

First thing, we know who will be the starting pitcher, and everyone knows why. SP Felix Hernandez will make the opening day start once again, facing the A’s Brett Anderson in Oakland.

How will the rest of the lineup shape up?

Well, here it is.

*Note: Raul Ibanez will play consistently against RH pitching, this lineup is for Monday against a LH pitcher, whom Ibanez will probably only play a third of the time against.

Starting lineup, order, and position

Leadoff: CF Franklin Gutierrez

A surprise already! Although Dustin Ackley has been touted as the face of the franchise and last year’s predominant leadoff hitter, it is time to take some pressure off of him. Manager Eric Wedge wants to get a hot bat at the top, because the M’s are facing a lefty (Anderson), Guti will leadoff. When the M’s play a righty, Michael Saunders will lead off.

2-hole: 3B Kyle Seager

This was the biggest debate for me, because Saunders would flourish in this role, but Seager has been hitting second consistently this spring. Seager’s slow spring may encourage Wedge to put him up in the order to show confidence in the young 3B, but with his 2-out RBI specialties and Saunders speed, expect a switch before too long.

Morse hit a home run farther than anyone in Peoria has ever hit a ball yesterday. So, there's that.

Morse hit a home run farther than anyone in Peoria has ever hit a ball yesterday. So, there’s that.

(Soon, Guti and Saunders will split hitting 1 and 2 depending on matchups).

Third: LF Michael Morse

Morse hit a home run farther than anyone in Peoria has ever hit a ball yesterday (his 7th of the spring). He’s healthy and ready.

Cleanup: DH Kendrys Morales

The offseason trades for Morse and Morales could be considered a great success if spring stats counted for anything. If the trend continues, both players will be leading a barrage of hitting Seattle hasn’t seen in awhile.

5: 1B Justin Smoak

I consider the 4, 5, and 6 hitters interchangeable for the M’s, but I expect Wedge to throw the beloved offseason/September/spring darling Smoak into the heart of the order opening night. Let’s hope he stays there.

6: C Jesus Montero

He had an infield single and a triple in Spring Training, I guess those offseason-running workouts paid off! In all seriousness, Montero is quietly having a monster spring and should be on everyone’s radar as a breakout candidate in the American League.

7: RF Michael Saunders

Saunders will hit leadoff as well, but on Monday he will hit 7th and solidify a great defensive outfield with a healthy Guti and Morse.

The all-WBC player will get to show the league his speed more this season by bringing up his OBP.

8: 2B Dustin Ackley

This sure looks like a demotion, but it should encourage fans everywhere. This kid can play, and he is bound to hit well at some point, if it is batting 8th for the M’s, then the team is doing pretty good.

9: SS Brendan Ryan

Is there any question here, Ryan is a sure thing; the best glove in the league and an average at best hitter.

EXTRA BREAKING TWEETS!

What do you think?

Cheers and Go M’s!

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  • Bobby Ayala

    I think you’re correct — MLB.com agrees (they have the exact projected batting order) — but I expect Michael Saunders to be hitting in the two-hole and Kyle Seager to slide down to the seventh spot. The reason? Seager’s ability to hit with two outs behind the heart of the order. Although, that goes hand-in-hand with him hitting in the two-hole after the bottom of the order; essentially it can go either way. All in all, though, Saunders hitting second gives you more speed at the top of the order, which is something the Mariners are going to severely lack this season.

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