King Felix takes the mound again on Tuesday in the two game series against the Pittsburgh Pirates. This is his second outing after coming off the disabled list.
His first outing was Ok though he gave up a three-run homer in the first inning. Actually he should have been out of the inning since the umpire called a ball and the batter walked when it should have a strike three for the third out. The next batter because Felix was upset hit the homer. He was able to pitch fine after that and went six innings.
We should be able to see a better outing of Felix on Tuesday. He looks healthier and his pitches should be better too. It would be nice if he could go through seven innings and allow the Mariners to be in position to win the game.
The game is in Pittsburgh so Felix will be excited to get in a few times in the batter box. The Mariners have a day off on Thursday so Felix may have a chance to pitch in Chicago against the Cubs on Sunday. This will depend on what manager Servais wants to do with the pitching rotation and whether they will go with four pitchers on this road trip. If he doesn’t pitch on Sunday he will on Monday when the Mariners return home.
Being on the road for the next five games we will likely see Nelson Cruz playing in right field. Depending on the pitchers Aoki, Seth Smith and Gutierrez will share left field. We will see Smith and Gutierrez pinch hitting for sure during the remaining of the road trip.
At this point no one really knows how long Marte will be out other than that he is on the 15 day disabled list so he is out for almost two weeks anyway. Right now Shawn O’Malley and Luis Sardinas will be sharing shortstop. Depending on Marte the Mariners could go out and get a more experienced shortstop if one is available and does not cost too much. I am sure how much O’Malley and Sardinas each plays depends who is playing the best. Against Pittsburgh and Chicago the one who doesn’t start will pinch hit at some point. Late in the games Sardinas will likely be in at short when he doesn’t start and O’Malley will be moved to the outfield since he plays good defense in the outfield. Depending on the score he likely will go in for Cruz or Smith and Aoki. With the days off the Mariners have had likely Leonys Martin will play in center field all the games depending on the pitcher. If the Mariners play a tough lefty I would not be surprised to see O’Malley in at centerfield to start the game.
The Mariners play the national league teams pretty good so I would not be surprised at all if they go 3-2 in the five games. The way that the Texas Rangers are playing right now this could mean that the Mariners could gain some more ground on them. The Houston Astros are close on their heels too and may over take them soon.
We will be keeping our eyes and ears open to see where the Mariners go this week with the trading deadline coming up soon. Dipoto feels that they are still in the race so they may be buyers or at the least do a trade like last week when they sent Mike Montgomery to the Cubs. They do have spot ready in the starting rotation so someone like Wade Miley could be traded if they someone good to get in return. Miley is signed through next season and a team option for 2018 so they do not have to trade him. They can wait until the off-season to trade him too.
So now we wait and see while the Mariners take on the Pirates and Cubs. Go M’s.