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Oakland A’s Series Preview #3: Mariners host A’s first road trip

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Oakland’s first road series of 2020

Seattle Mariners Summer Workouts
Kendall Graveman is back in the majors!
Photo by Abbie Parr/Getty Images

The Oakland A’s split their opening homestand to start the 2020 season, taking three of four from the Angels but then getting silenced by the Rockies for two frustrating days. Now they head on the road for the first time this season, up north to Seattle and T-Mobile Park.

Seattle Mariners

  • 2019 record: 68-94
  • 2020 record: 3-4

The Mariners began rebuilding last year, and the result was 94 losses and a last-place finish in the AL West. They got off to a hot start but then reality set in for the young roster, on top of losing most of their remaining veteran stars to injury. Read more about their 2019 season at our AL West preview.

General manager Jerry Dipoto had an uncharacteristically quiet winter, and the whole lineup consists of returners, except for briefly the catcher spot as noted below. The pitching staff does have some new faces, though, as quite a few arms left via free agency — including King Felix.

Projected lineup

The batting orders have been all over the place, so they’re just listed by position.

  • C Joe Hudson (R)**
  • 1B Evan White (R)
  • 2B Shed Long (L)
  • SS J.P. Crawford (L)
  • 3B Kyle Seager (L)
  • LF Tim Lopes (R)
  • CF Kyle Lewis (R)
  • RF Mallex Smith (L)
  • DH Daniel Vogelbach (L)

In addition, Jose Marmolejos (L) has started five out of seven games, split between DH, 1B, and LF. Lopes has shared the outfield corners with Dee Gordon (L) and Dylan Moore (R).

** At the catcher position, intended starter Tom Murphy (R) began the year on the injured list but could be back for this series. Intended backup Austin Nola (R) was also banged up, so there are two random Joes covering in the meantime.

This is a classic rebuilding lineup. There are a few good prospects and some other promising young players, a few lotto ticket flyers, and the long-time veterans Seager and Gordon to help lead them. They’ll lose some games, but like any MLB team they can beat you on the right day.

Starting pitchers

These are the four expected starters:

  • Fri: Taijuan Walker (R) vs. Sean Manaea (6:40 p.m.)
  • Sat: Yusei Kikuchi (L) vs. Mike Fiers (6:10 p.m.)
  • Sun: Kendall Graveman (R) vs. Chris Bassitt (1:10 p.m.)
  • Mon: Justus Sheffield (L) vs. maybe Jesus Luzardo?? (6:10 p.m.)

Walker, once one of Seattle’s top prospects, is back after a few years in Arizona, though he’s barely pitched at all since 2017. Kikuchi was a disappointment in his rookie year after signing a hefty contract.

Graveman is familiar to A’s fans, having spent four seasons with Oakland before undergoing Tommy John surgery in 2018. Great to see him back on the mound! As for the finale, we know that Luzardo is starting his next time out but we don’t know for sure if it’ll be Monday or another day this week. If he does go in Seattle, then along with Sheffield it would be an incredible matchup of two lefties who are both national Top 50 prospects.

All four of these Mariners starters got roughed up in their season debuts, and they currently all have ERAs in the double-digits.

Bench/Bullpen

Here’s the Mariners’ full 30-man roster:

Seattle Mariners 30-man roster
Pitchers Hitters
Starters

Marco Gonzales (L)
Taijuan Walker (R)
Yusei Kikuchi (L)
Kendall Graveman (R)
Justus Sheffield (L)
Justin Dunn (R)

Relievers

Dan Altavilla (R)
Nestor Cortes (L)
Carl Edwards Jr (R)
Zac Grotz (R)
Matt Magill (R)
Nick Margevicius (L)
Anthony Misiewicz (L)
Yohan Ramirez (R)
Bryan Shaw (R)
Taylor Williams (R)
Catchers

Joe Hudson (R)
Austin Nola (R)
Joseph Odom (R)

Infielders

Daniel Vogelbach (L)
Evan White (R)
Shed Long (L)
J.P. Crawford (L)
Kyle Seager (L)
Dee Gordon (L)
Tim Lopes (R)
Jose Marmolejos (L)
Dylan Moore (R)

Outfielders

Kyle Lewis (R)
Mallex Smith (L)

10-day IL: RHP Austin Adams (knee), RHP Gerson Bautista (elbow), RHP Brandon Brennan (oblique), RHP Yoshihisa Hirano (coronavirus), C Tom Murphy (foot)

45-day IL: OF Mitch Haniger (back)