Cactus League Game 2, A’s at Mariners
Welcome back for this, the second game of our Cactus League schedule. Feels easy slipping back into this routine, right? Like falling off a bicycle.
There were three big stories from this morning, I suppose. One is that Jesus Montero is A-OK, something that might surprise you as being an issue if you weren’t listening yesterday. The cool thing to come out of that game was that Montero hit one of those opposite field dingers we’re counting on him to hit this season. The uncool thing is that he was removed after getting smacked in the jaw twice by consecutive foul balls. The Mariners figured that after that, he had done his work and probably didn’t want to play anymore. It’s a common thing to not want to play a game anymore after being knocked in the jaw twice. Man, once I was locked in just this intense match of Guess Who? and… anyway…
The other bit of news was that Saunders hit dingers, which affords us the opportunity to talk a little about him. I think we also did that one of the last time I was posting links too. Shannon Drayer wrote a little piece on it yesterday, talking about the 60 oz bat in practice (we were always looking for those big bats!), the rubber bands that he used to stabilize himself, something involving a dog tennis ball tosser that I’m not quite sure I understand. He’s also trying to change his approach to the point where he’s less passive and now I have Wedge’s talk about aggressiveness ringing in my ears. But the important thing is that we’re talking about him in a positive light for things that he’s actually accomplished. In one game, I know. Still, he seems like he’ll have a good chance to pick up the center field job to open the season.
And Guti? It turns out that the tear in his pectoral muscle was partial and won’t require surgery, and that may mean he’ll get back a little sooner. He won’t be able to participate in any upper body work in the short-term and will be in a sling for a little while. Guti seems positive about his abilities to get back though, which is good because I know that more than a few of us were probably afraid he was cursed or something and looking at the third year of being somewhat broken.
Here’s a lineup. It looks more like an actual Mariners lineup. Take that however you will.
Since they’re playing at home, today’s bench features everyone. Seriously, nineteen-man bench over here. After Noesi, Millwood and Kuo are supposed to pitch. Then other guys will pitch until there are enough innings.