Mariners Insider Blog

Change atop the Mariners lineup tonight

The Seattle Mariners made a change atop their lineup for their game with the San Francisco Giants, but it didn't involve Ichiro Suzuki.

Instead, Dustin Ackley was dropped from second to seventh in the batting order, and newly returned Franklin Gutierrez - in his second game of the season - will bat behind Ichiro.

The move makes sense because Ackley has struggled much of the season batting second and is hitting just .243 overall, while Gutierrez if healthy would have started the year batting second. Still an issue, however, is whether Ackley is better suited to leading off.

Ichiro, a year after batting .271, is now hitting .263. Sooner or later, Ichiro as leadoff hitter may prove no better a situation that Ichiro the No. 3 hitter.

Here's the lineup:

Ichiro Suzuki     RFFranklin Gutierrez    CFKyle Seager       3BJesus Montero         DHMichael Saunders  LFJustin Smoak       1BDustin Ackley     2BMiguel Olivo          CBrendan Ryan          SSJason Vargas          LHP