SEATTLE — Hoping for more favorable match-ups, the Seattle Mariners are tweaking their rotation this week in order to steer left-hander Roenis Elias away from San Diego’s heavy right-handed lineup.
Monday’s open date in the schedule will permit right-hander Taijuan Walker to start Wednesday’s game against the Padres with his usual rest between starts.
Elias will shift back one day and pitch Thursday in the series opener against the Boston Red Sox at Safeco Field.
Manager Lloyd McClendon indicated Sunday that he was considering such a move to keep Elias away from a Padres’ lineup that includes Matt Kemp, Justin Upton and Wil Myers.
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“San Diego likes to hit off left-handers,” McClendon said. “(It’s) nothing he’s done. Just trying to get the best matchup.”
The Mariners are already starting one lefty, James Paxton, in the two-game series against the Padres. Paxton will pitch Tuesday night in the series opener.
The change sets up a revised rotation, starting Wednesday, of Walker, Elias, J.A. Happ, Felix Hernandez and Paxton.