May 9, 2015; Seattle, WA, USA; Seattle Mariners right fielderNelson Cruz
(23) gets a hit in the fifth inning, scoring two runs on an error by the Oakland Athletics at Safeco Field. Mandatory Credit: Jennifer Buchanan-USA TODAY Sports
Mariners Key Players To Watch:
- Outfielder Nelson Cruz is the big man on offense to watch for in Seattle’s lineup. He leads the team in batting average (.346), RBIs (29), and home runs (15). Cruz has 30 strikeouts, as often big hitters have high totals in that category, but catcher Mike Zunino has 10 more than him to lead the team. With a .397 on-base percentage and a .738 slugging percentage, Cruz swings a mighty bat but he’s all about getting on base and helping his team win. However, all of the named Red Sox starters are right-handed. Cruz is significantly weaker, this season, against righty pitching (.296 to .591) in Seattle (.313 to .381 for away games). To say, though, that those numbers mean that he won’t have any success is a fool’s dream. Expect Cruz to punish Red Sox pitching, if they make a mistake against him.
- Third baseman Kyle Seager has 2 home runs and 7 RBIs in his last 10 games. The lefty bat could pose a challenge to the righty pitchers, but Seager has not shown evidence that it matters what hand a pitcher uses. He has been consistent, if not glowing like the star that Cruz has become.
- Second baseman, and former New York Yankees All-Star, Robinson Cano is also no stranger to Boston. With only a single home run and 11 RBIs for the season, so far, Cano does not look like the mighty giant that he once was, when he played with the Red Sox’ arch rivals. However, his .303 batting average against right-handed pitching, his .328 average in home games, and the fact that he gets to play his one-time enemies again may perk his interest and his bat.