Early in the 2015 season, Mariner’s Manager Lloyd McClendon and GM Jack Zduriencik(Jackie Z) have their first personnel hurdle to deal with. Veteran outfielder Seth Smith has strained his groin. Smith went 3-3 on opening day with a furious triple followed by two doubles, however, he has missed the last two games due to injury.
Though listed day-to-day, McClendon appears to be playing the waiting game to ensure that Seth doesn’t aggravate it creating a serious injury. McClendon ‘s managing will be evaluated to see how he handles this adversity.
In games 2 and 3, McClendon responded by moving Rickie Weeks to the Designated Hitter spot and placing the normal DH Nelson Cruz, in Right Field. Offensively, Cruz and Weeks had a hit each in the two games; defensively, Cruz wasn’t too distracting.
What I find curious is that Jackie Z made an effort to acquire Justin Ruggianio, and it is curious he debuted in Left Field rather than Right Field (his natural position). It seems as if McClendon prefers the offensive pairing of righty vs lefty over defensive optimization. This is surprising to me as Lloyd was known for defense during his playing days.
Though the M’s lost two games, it is good for we fans get to see how good (or bad) Jackie Z’s acquisitions are this year–the year Jackie Z must win or lose his job–and how McClendon evaluates his current talent.
Rest up Seth Smith, get better soon. After two losses without you, the Mariner nation and Sam Malone miss you and understand your pain.