SEATTLE -- It didn't take long for Robinson Cano's arrival to have a little impact on the Mariners' visibility, as ESPN announced its Opening Day national lineup Wednesday, which will include Seattle's 7 p.m. PT debut against the Angels in Anaheim on ESPN2.
The game will be the Mariners' first appearance on an ESPN network since the 2011 season.
The Dodgers and Padres will kick off the season on ESPN on Sunday, March 30, in a 5 p.m. PT game. Then the network will follow with five national broadcasts on Monday, March 31:
• Cubs at Pirates, 10 a.m. PT (ESPN)
• Red Sox at Orioles, noon PT (ESPN2)
• Cardinals at Reds, 1 p.m. PT (ESPN)
• Rockies at Marlins, 4 p.m. PT (ESPN2)
• Mariners at Angels, 7 p.m. PT (ESPN2)
How much did Cano's $240 million signing have to do with that? Hard to tell since the Angels are a pretty good draw with Mike Trout and Albert Pujols, but the ESPN press release announcing their Opening Day lineup specifically mentioned Cano's debut with the Mariners as part of the promotion for that game. So, no, it didn't hurt.
This year's Opening Day game will also be telecast on ROOT Sports, which will carry its own broadcast of the game, but will be available in the Seattle and L.A. markets on both networks.
Greg Johns is a reporter for MLB.com. Follow him on Twitter @GregJohnsMLB as well as his Mariners Musings blog.