After coming off a series win against the Oakland Athletics, the Seattle Mariners head to Los Angeles to face the Dodgers in a 3-game series. Before today’s game, the Mariners made their first roster move of the year, sending right-handed pitcher Tom Wilhelmsen to the 15-day DL with a hyperextended elbow. In place of Wilhelmsen, the Mariners have recalled right-handed pitcher Dominic Leone from AAA Tacoma.
Leone has had experience at the major league level in his young professional career. The 23-year old righty appeared in 57 games last year for the Mariners, In 66 1/3 innings pitched, Leone was 8-2 with a 2.17 ERA and a 1.16 WHIP.
Tonight’s lineup against the Dodgers’ Brandon McCarthy will feature Dustin Ackley, leading off in center field, Seth Smith in left field, batting 2nd, Robinson Cano at 2nd, batting third, Nelson Cruz, batting cleanup in right field, Kyle Seager, playing third and batting 5th, Logan Morrison, playing first and batting 6th, the catcher Mike Zunino will bat 7th with shortstop Brad Miller batting 8th and the pitcher James Paxton rounding out the lineup at 9.
Mariners center fielder Austin Jackson will sit today after playing six straight games, manager Lloyd McClendon made it clear that Jackson would receive more days off after a noticeable drop-off in production last season.
Replacing Jackson in center will be Mariners outfielder Dustin Ackley. Ackley has seen action in center field before. Going back to 2013, Ackley appeared in 50 games in center field for the Mariners, posting a .991 fielding percentage with only one error committed. The former second baseman has looked like a natural in the outfield and Mariner fans should not worry about Ackley’s defensive abilities in center tonight as he has shown previously that he can play the position well.
Tonight also brings the return of Seth Smith to the outfield, After going 3-3 with two doubles and a triple in the Mariners’ home opening 4-1 victory against the Los Angeles Angels, Smith was sidelined with groin tightness and did not appear in the next two games. Smith started the last two games for the Mariners’ at DH, going 2-6 but today will be the first action he receives in the outfield since Opening Day.