The Seattle Mariners’ Opening Day lineup has been revealed. In addition to Felix Hernandez taking the mound, Ichiro Suzuki will again be roaming the outfield of Safeco Field. The Mariners begin the 2018 MLB season against the Cleveland Indians on Thursday night (March 29), touching off a campaign to finally make it back to the postseason. An announcement by the team also reveals that Game 1 is a sellout for the Mariners.
Dee Gordon, acquired from the Miami Marlins in the offseason, will serve as the leadoff hitter. Gordon will also be playing center field for the first time in his career. Ichiro Suzuki will be in left field and Mitch Haniger will be in right field. Around the infield, the Mariners will have Ryon Healy at first base, Robinson Cano at second base, Jean Segura at shortstop, and Kyle Seager at third base. Mike Zunino is the catcher and Nelson Cruz in the designated hitter on Thursday night.
As seen in the Seattle Mariners’ Opening Day lineup below, there is a lot of speed that manager Scott Servais has to work with. The potential to put the game in motion is available for the team this year, with Gordon leading the National League in stolen bases in the past. If Gordon can steal a lot of bases in 2018, he could become a huge asset at the top of the batting order.
Mariners Opening Day lineup for tomorrow:
— Greg Johns (@GregJohnsMLB) March 28, 2018
For Felix Hernandez, this will be the 10th straight season that he has made the Opening Day start for the Seattle Mariners. Overall, it’s also the 11th Opening Day start of his career. Only nine pitchers have more than 11 in all of baseball history. That list is led by Tom Seaver with 16 and includes Randy Johnson with 14. This will also tie Hernandez for the fourth-longest streak of all time, behind Jack Morris (14), Seaver (12), and Robin Roberts (12). That’s a remarkable place for Hernandez to be at this point in his career.
Game time is 7:10 p.m. PT on Thursday night, with Felix Hernandez matching up against Corey Kluber of the Cleveland Indians. The game will also have a national television audience, as ESPN is broadcasting the game live. It’s certainly a chance for Hernandez, Ichiro, and Dee Gordon to put on a show for the whole league to see. For his part, Hernandez has a career record of 6-2 on Opening Day, and he will be looking to overcome a rough 2017 campaign.