Seattle Mariners spring training brings up uncomfortable infield questions

The Sweet Spot?

I sometimes wonder what is happening in the back rooms at the Seattle Mariners front office.

It is like there is a high stakes poker match going on within the stake holders of the organization that end up in lost bets having to be carried out on the field.

Some of these nonsensical moves are the way the M’s are moving the position players around the field.


Dustin Ackley who was an outfielder throughout college was transitioned to first base when he was drafted for the Mariners.  Then when he was getting comfortable in that spot was forced into the role at second.

The most surprising is that the move seems to have paid off with Dustin Ackley holding his own with a .984 fielding percentage in his first big league season.

Or has it?

The Mariners weakest positions are left field and third base.  Ackley who would be a natural outfielder is holding a spot at second that would best be filled by Kyle Seager whom the M’s have slotted in on the hot corner.

While the M’s would love to have Seager on the team, he could be blocked by Chone Figgins, Carlos Guillen, Alex Liddi and Francesco Martinez .

He has played some at short as well, but his minor league numbers indicate he is a much better 2nd baseman.

Dustin Ackley

Ackley who would be a natural outfielder is holding a spot at second

If Ackley was moved to left field and Seager to second the M’s could have a better long term package.

Is it possible that the area that is too thin at the moment actually has too much depth?


Mike Carp who was brought into the organization to become the first baseman of the future found out right before his breakout season that the M’s recruited switch hitting Justin Smoak from the Texas Rangers.

We all remember the high profile trade for Cliff Lee.

Smoak had a difficult season in 2011 with the loss of his father, injuring both his thumbs in game play and taking a ball off the face.

He has shown power potential, but Carp has shown consistency.

As if this is not enough, the M’s have indicated that they will be giving a good look at Alex Liddi at first base as well this spring.

Versatility is good, but it leaves one wondering why.

Could be Smoak’s future is in question within the franchise.  Which is too bad, he has one of the coolest baseball names of all time.

The uncomfortable feeling may be a bit off base as it is likely that the Mariners are trying to play a different type of ball where players have more versatility and therefore more value within the organization and if needed for trade bait.

As uneasy as it makes me feel, the alternative is another decade in the basement of the AL West.

In that case uncomfortable is good.

I think.


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