Projecting the M’s Lineup 1.0

 The Seattle Mariners signed or acquired via trade three new lineup pieces over the offseason and while I think most agree that more is needed — whether that be Kendrys Morales in March or April or a pre-summer trade — the offense is better, on paper at least, than it was a year ago.

While there are a lot of scenarios that makes sense, such as Kyle Seager batting anywhere from second to fourth or fifth, to the leadoff spot where Brad Miller and Abraham Almonte could both make some sense, here is one potential lineup versus right-handed starters and one versus left-handed starters.

Almonte, who by no means has a roster spot sewn up just yet, could get some starts versus right-handed pitching — he’s a much stronger hitter from the left side — and there will likely be games, mostly versus southpaws where Corey Hart remains in right field, Almonte starts in center and Saunders plays left for Ackley or Saunders sits in favor of Ackley. That could occur just as much as Saunders in center versus lefties, with Almonte sitting and Ackley playing left. It’s truly a mix-and-match four-man rotation where ultimately the top performers earn the most starts.

I like Seager in the No. 2 spot, but it could make some sense to use him down a few spots, too, depending on how well Ackley, Almonte and Saunders — the other candidates to bat in the top two spots — are swinging the bat. From the outset, it should be Miller-Seager batting 1-2, but Lloyd McClendon and Trent Jewett may decide otherwise.

Projected M’s Lineup vs. RHP
No. Player
1 Brad Miller, SS
2 Kyle Seager, 3B
3 Robinson Cano, 2B
4 Corey Hart, RF
5 Justin Smoak, 1B
6 Logan Morrison, DH
7 Michael Saunders, CF
8 Mike Zunino/John Buck C
9 Dustin Ackley, LF
Projected M’s Lineup vs. LHP
No. Player
1 Brad Miller, SS
2 Abraham Almonte, CF
3 Robinson Cano, 2B
4 Corey Hart, DH
5 Kyle Seager, 3B
6 Justin Smoak/Logan Morrison, 1B
7 Michael Saunders, RF
8 Mike Zunino/John Buck C
9 Dustin Ackley, LF

As you can see, I’m by no means ready to anoint Almonte a regular and there’s no chance I pigeonhole Miller as a hitter that needs to be platooned, at least in terms of where he bats in the order, versus left-handed pitching. He was terrific versus southpaws in Tacoma last year and posted a better batting average and on-base percentage against them in the bigs than he did versus right-handers. Prior to 2013, he’s more than held his own versus lefties, and Almonte hasn’t had much success as a right-handed batter, anyway, suggesting that swap is rather insane.

As I stated above, there are a lot of ways this can go, especially if Nick Franklin is traded for a piece the big club can use right away, or if Stefen Romero makes the 25-man roster somehow and is used versus left-handed pitching.

The following two tabs change content below.

Jason A. Churchill

Liked it? Take a second to support Jason A. Churchill on Patreon!