Cactus League Game 4 – Yusei Kikuchi’s Debut

marc w · February 25, 2019 at 10:30 am · Filed Under Mariners 

Yusei Kikuchi vs. Alex Wood (Reds), 12:10pm (TV!)

The M’s got everything they could’ve wished for from Justus Sheffield’s debut yesterday, as the lefty brushed aside my concerns about his bat missing ability vs. opposite-handed batters by striking out *4* righties in 2 scoreless innings. Yusei Kikuchi, can you top that?

We get to see the big off-season acquisition against live batters today for the first time, and I’m irrationally excited about it. What will his velo look like (Sheffield sat 92-93, touching 94)? How will he mix his pitches? Does his deceptive delivery hide his breaking pitches?

If that wasn’t enough, former top prospect Kyle Lewis gets the start in RF. After years of injury rehab, Lewis almost feels like a forgotten man, and I’ve worried that he’s lost a step and years of developmental time, but maaaaan would this system look better with a breakout campaign from Lewis.

1: Long, 3B
2: Beckham, SS
3: Encarnacion, DH
4: Narvaez, C
5: Santana, LF
6: Healy, 1B
7: Lewis, RF
8: Thompson-Williams, CF
9: Negron, 2B

Shed Long gets the start at 3B, as the M’s assess his flexibility/utility value. Also our first look at Edwin Encarnacion.

The Reds re-made their team this offseason, and I’m kind of interested to see how it goes. Ex-Dodger Alex Wood gets the start today, but they’ll see if they can coax a bounceback year from Sonny Gray, too. Good luck, Cincy, and thanks for Shed Long.

Go M’s.


2 Responses to “Cactus League Game 4 – Yusei Kikuchi’s Debut”

  1. Stevemotivateir on February 25th, 2019 1:35 pm

    Nice start for Lewis!

  2. Grayfox3d on February 25th, 2019 4:49 pm

    That curve ball to Votto was a thing of beauty! I’m liking what I see so far.

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