Seattle Mariners Opening Day lineup projections for 2017 had many analysts debating how manager Scott Servais and general manager Jerry Dipoto were going to react to the MLB offseason. Several key acquisitions have introduced a group of new faces to the starting lineup, including three new players who could potentially bat leadoff for the improved Mariners offense. Four new players to the team will debut in the Opening Day lineup.
A report by the Seattle Times reveals the full 2017 Opening Day lineup for the Seattle Mariners. What may surprise some fans, is that new shortstop, Jean Segura, will serve as the leadoff hitter. For a lot of spring training games, new outfielder Jarrod Dyson was used in the leadoff spot, but the left fielder will be batting ninth when the Mariners take on the Houston Astros on Monday, April 3. It could allow the team to really pressure Dallas Keuchel on the basepaths.
Following Segura will be right fielder Mitch Haniger, who will look to help set the table for the three main power hitters (Robinson Cano, Nelson Cruz, and Kyle Seager) to follow him in the Seattle Mariners’ batting order. Going up against left-handed starting pitcher Dallas Keuchel has forced Servais to make some adjustments to the lineup, especially using spring training statistics to put together the best-looking lineup for Opening Day.
2017 Seattle Mariners Opening Day Lineup (Batting Order)
1. Jean Segura – SS
2. Mitch Haniger – RF
3. Robinson Cano – 2B
4. Nelson Cruz – DH
5. Kyle Seager – 3B
6. Danny Valencia – 1B
7. Leonys Martin – CF
8. Mike Zunino – C
9. Jarrod Dyson – LF
As for the reasoning for dropping Jarrod Dyson in the Opening Day batting order, it stems in part from a hamstring injury he suffered late in spring training, but also due to the successes that Jean Segura and Mitch Haniger were having at the plate. Segura and Haniger have been hitting really well this spring, something that Scott Servais hopes will translate into the regular season. Having a flexible lineup like this one will also afford Servais the opportunity to shift things later on.
“I really like the way Jean Segura is swinging the bat. Obviously, he’s very comfortable leading off. The original plan was to run Dyson there, but Dyson hasn’t played a ton, just the last few games. I think it’s important with that extra at-bat when (the lineups) flips around. I like having Segura at the top. He’s a real threat when you turn the lineup over. And I think having Leonys and Dyson near the bottom — they can still create havoc and do what they need to do on the bases.”
Mitch Haniger’s stats during spring training ranked among the best in baseball. Servais used him frequently, leading to 78 total at-bats in March. Haniger finished with 30 hits, a 0.385 batting average, 14 extra-base hits, 11 RBIs, and 12 runs scored. Those are numbers that fans would love to see within the 2017 Seattle Mariners lineup, made possible by the speed at the top and bottom.
As previously reported by the Inquisitr, the Mariners traded shortstop Ketel Marte and RHP Taijuan Walker to the Arizona Diamondbacks for infielder Jean Segura, outfielder Mitch Haniger, and LHP Zac Curtis. Segura played second base and shortstop for the Diamondbacks after being acquired from the Milwaukee Brewers. He finished the 2016 season with a 0.319 batting average, 20 home runs, 64 RBIs, 102 runs scored, and 33 stolen bases. His OPS of 0.867 was also very impressive, giving Mariners fans high hopes about what he could do in the 2017 Seattle lineup.
Monday’s first pitch is at 7:10 p.m. in Houston (5:10 p.m. PT). It’s Game 1 of a four-game series against the Astros before the Mariners head to play three games against the Los Angeles Angels. The Safeco Field home opener is on Monday, April 10, against those same Houston Astros. While manager Scott Servais could shift the batting order again over the first two weeks of the regular season, the 2017 Opening Day Seattle Mariners lineup is now set for April 3.
[Featured Image by Norm Hall/Getty Images]