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Oakland A’s Series Preview #19: Mariners wrap up season at Coliseum

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The end of the 2020 regular season

San Diego Padres v Seattle Mariners
Justus Sheffield
Photo by Sean M. Haffey/Getty Images

This is it, folks! We’ve reached the end of the 2020 regular season, which lasted just two quick months. The Oakland A’s are set to play Games 57 through 60 at the Coliseum this weekend against the Seattle Mariners, including a doubleheader on Saturday to make up one final postponement from earlier in September.

Seattle Mariners

  • 2020 record: 25-31

The Mariners didn’t have a bad season, all things considered. They were clearly rebuilding, and they traded away multiple players at the deadline, but they still hovered around the .500 mark and avoided last place — in fact, they’re only a half-game behind the Angels for third in the AL West.

Positive story lines included the emergence of former 1st-round draft pick Kyle Lewis in the outfield, as well as super-sub Dylan Moore, while new acquisitions Ty France and Luis Torrens have hit well. The rotation is settling down, and a few relievers are putting together nice seasons. It’s exactly what you want to see out of a rebuild, and in the meantime they’re winning some games too.

Also still on board is former A’s starter Kendall Graveman, though he has moved to the bullpen for now. Yoshihisa Hirano has taken over the closer role, previously held briefly by Yohan Ramirez, who is now the setup man. Also, “Ljay” Newsome is pronounced like if it were initials L.J., as in {ELL-jay}.

The Mariners have the chance to play a bit of spoiler, by beating the A’s and preventing a rise from the No. 3 seed to the No. 2 seed in the AL playoffs. However, if that did happen then it would merely guarantee that Oakland gets to face the Houston Astros in the first round, for a chance to knock out everybody’s favorite villain.

Projected lineup

  • SS J.P. Crawford (L)
  • CF Kyle Lewis (R)
  • 3B Kyle Seager (L)
  • DH Ty France (R)
  • LF Jose Marmolejos (L)
  • C Luis Torrens (R)
  • DH Tim Lopes (R)
  • 1B Evan White (R)
  • 2B Dee Strange-Gordon (L)

We didn’t see Crawford in the recent doubleheader against the A’s, but he’s back now from the bereavement list. Instead, super-sub Dylan Moore is out, with a concussion.

Starting pitchers

These are the four expected starters:

  • Fri: Yusei Kikuchi (L) vs. Chris Bassitt (6:40 p.m.)
  • Sat #1: Justus Sheffield (L) vs. Mike Minor (1:10 p.m.)
  • Sat #2: Justin Dunn (R) vs. TBD (4:10ish p.m.)
  • Sun: Marco Gonzales (L) vs. Frankie Montas (12:10 p.m.)

That’s a lotta lefties! Kikuchi is having a bad year, but Gonzales is a borderline ace, and Sheffield is beginning to pan out from his own elite prospect status. Dunn has been roughly average, at age 24, which itself is promising. The Mariners are finally building their next interesting rotation.

Jesús Luzardo was scheduled to start the other game of the doubleheader, but then he pitched three innings of relief on Thursday, so for now it’s unclear what the plan is. They do still have prospects they could call up for an emergency start, like they did with Daulton Jefferies recently.

Bench/Bullpen

Here’s the Mariners’ full 28-man roster:

Seattle Mariners 28-man roster
Pitchers Hitters
Starters

Marco Gonzales (L)
Justus Sheffield (L)
Yusei Kikuchi (L)
Justin Dunn (R)
Nick Margevicius (L)

Relievers

Yoshihisa Hirano (R)
Yohan Ramirez (R)
Brandon Brennan (R)
Joey Gerber (R)
Kendall Graveman (R)
Brady Lail (R)
Walker Lockett (R)
Anthony Misiewicz (L)
Ljay Newsome (R)
Casey Sadler (R)
Erik Swanson (R)
Catchers

Joseph Odom (R)
Luis Torrens (R)

Infielders

Evan White (R)
Ty France (R)
J.P. Crawford (L)
Kyle Seager (L)
Dee Strange-Gordon (L)

Outfielders

Kyle Lewis (R)
Tim Lopes (R)
Jose Marmolejos (L)
Braden Bishop (R)
Phillip Ervin (R)

7-day IL: UT Dylan Moore (concussion)

10-day IL: 2B Shed Long (shin), OF Jake Fraley (quad), UT Sam Haggerty (forearm)

45-day IL: RHP Gerson Bautista (elbow), RHP Nestor Cortes (elbow), RHP Carl Edwards Jr (forearm), LHP Taylor Guilbeau (shoulder), RHP Matt Magill (shoulder), C Tom Murphy (foot), OF Mitch Haniger (back)