Let’s spare the speculation for a bit and enjoy the fact that Mariner baseball is back. It’s just Spring Training, but a win is a win, everyone played their part and fulfilled their assignments, and the M’s looked pretty darn good.
They broke out their Opening Day starting lineup, which had Jerrod Dyson and not Jean Segura batting leadoff. Dyson performed well and drew a walk and got a base hit, and even stole a base. His competence at the plate was on full display, a good sign for the M’s going forward.
Cruz started off the scoring with a three run homer in the top of the first. The whole scoring sequence showed everyone exactly what the M’s pictured; Segura got a hit, Canó C’d the Z and got a walk, and Cruz stepped up and brought everyone home. Perfection. It’s moments like this when I’m especially grateful we have the strength of the Dominican National Team batting 2,3, and 4. When his free agency went longer than anticipated, I legitimately thought José Bautista would sign with Seattle to round up half of the national squad (I’m super glad he didn’t though, his attitude needs a bit of adjusting).
Guillermo Heredia was a force at the plate and on the basepaths. Going 3-3, he clubbed two doubles and drove in three runs, and even stole home on a double steal with Shawn O’Malley. This offensive production is promising in an outfield lacking big bats, but expect more production out of Haniger moving forward; there’s a reason he’s the starting right fielder.
Shawn O’Malley ended up with the most at-bats of any Mariner today with four. He went 2-4 and drove in Heredia and stole a base. After his extensive use in the latter half of last season, it’ll be interesting to see how the Mariners use him this year. He seemed to be a liability in general, but can produce from time to time. He’ll likely serve as a backup for Canó and Segura, so his playing time at the major league level will be quite limited.
Despite allowing three runs in the fourth, Ryan Weber was credited with the win. Seeing as he was the only pitcher to allow any runs or give up more than one hit, the pitching was solid today.
Again, it’s great to see the Mariners back in action. They play San Diego again tomorrow and host Kansas City on Monday. Stay tuned!