Facing a lefty in Anaheim’s C.J. Wilson on Friday, the Mariners have Jason Bay leading off for the first time in his career.
With Franklin Gutierrez sidelined, Endy Chavez had been leading off for the Mariners of late, but he’s only an option there against righties. Bay, who is hitting .220 overall, is 4-for-14 with a couple of walks against left-handed pitchers, giving him a .375 OBP in those matchups.
The only other spot in which Bay had never hit was ninth. He’s spent the bulk of his career batting third, fourth and fifth. He has hit second eight times with poor results; he’s 3-for-30 with 12 strikeouts and one walk from that spot.
Bay’s appearance in the leadoff spot comes in his 1,179th major league start.
The Rangers announced on Tuesday that outfielder Joey Gallo was activated from the 10-day injured list. He’s in the lineup, batting fifth and playing center field against the Tigers.
Gallo, 25, went on the disabled list at the beginning of June due to a strained left oblique. He was in the midst of an All-Star-caliber campaign, batting .276/.421/.653 with 17 home runs and 41 RBI in 214 plate appearances.
On a similar note, Evan Grant of the Dallas Morning News reports that Gallo wasn’t among those offered invitations to participate in the upcoming Home Run Derby. Gallo said of participating, “If I’m not invited, it makes the decision easy.”
It’s one thing for Gallo to not participate because he’s not interested; it’s another thing entirely if he’s not invited, however understandable given his injury. We are all worse off not being able to see Gallo crush dinger after dinger at Progressive Field next month.