mariners

Message from management: Perform, or else

Win or die time

It all started with the great Jesus swap of 2013.

From there it spiraled on with the tenacity of a Tornado Alley Twister, with just about as many casualties left in its wake.

Yes, the Mariners are making some moves, but I somehow think that it has more to do with the survival of Jack Z and Eric Wedge than it does with the Mariners flirting with .500 a couple weeks ago.

Today offered up the latest Mariners swap, rookie P Brandon Maurer got his pink slip in favor of utility man, and Italian Stallion, Alex Liddi.

Sure we won’t need to rely on Maurer’s subpar stuff for another five days, but I think this move was more than past due.

Liddi will bring the extra bench guy the M’s need with the injuries to Justin Smoak, and Michael Morse, and I would assume the contract of Jeremy Bonderman will be purchased tomorrow by the big league club.

But this piece will be more about what Jesus Montero and Dustin Ackley will need to do to get back up to the Show, and win our confidence back.

Jesus Montero

So it appears that Montero’s dreams of being a big league catcher are all but smashed.

Jesus Montero Seattle Mariners Catcher

An image we will hopefully never have to see again. (Photo foxsportsarizona.com)

The M’s sent Montero down to AAA Tacoma to get back in touch with his swing, using him primarily at the DH slot.

It has been said that Montero will be seeing some time at 1B as well, which is kind of a scary thought for us fans.

His glove behind the plate was atrocious, as were his feet, his blocking ability, and his overall awareness of the defensive game while he was on the field.

If that wasn’t bad enough, his bat wasn’t any better. Montero was labeled as the next Edgar Martinez by a lot of people.

He’s looked more like the next Mike Kingery to me, but that might even be giving him too much credit.

So what will get Montero back up to Safeco?

BP, and a lot of it. It seems that he forgot most of the mechanics he had learned prior to this year, and focused all of his efforts toward the catching game.

Depending on what the M’s plan on doing with Kendrys Morales post 2013, Montero could see himself back up with the big league club as the full time DH once again.

He did fairly well at that slot last season, plus, if he can get a handle on the 1B position, he could waltz right in next season and take over for Morales.

Smoak still appears to be the 1B of the future, so Montero could be DH, back up 1B and a third catching option, a thing most managers would love to have.

But this all lies on him, and if he can get some good wood on the ball with any sort of regular basis down in Tacoma.

Dustin Ackley Seattle Mariners

Struggling was an understatement with Ackley. (Photo: usatoday.com)

Dustin Ackley

Ackely may be a product of a player who got brought up a little too soon.

His glove definitely has big league appeal, and he has shown both pop, and an ability to hit for average in the past at this level.

But this season he resembles Rain Man more than any big league ball player I’ve ever seen before.

Ackley got replaced by Nick Franklin earlier this week, as the swap of future big leaguers and past phenoms finally took place.

Ack will now get the chance to go back down to Tacoma and get some so called “pressure-less” at bats in.

I think the pressure is on more so now than it ever has been for him though. When your confidence is shot, there’s only one thing in the world that will make it worse, a demotion.

Ackley may have had his shot pass by him, but this will depend on how well Nick Franklin does, how well Brendan Ryan continues his batting assault, and whether or not the M’s will be buyers or sellers at the trade deadline.

This move may be out of the hands of Ackley at this point. Alex Liddi has just been brought up, as has Carlos Triunfel. Two utility infielders to go along with the addition of Nick Franklin.

In case you lost count, that is three young, promising infielders who are here to make their case as to why they belong at this level and Ackley belongs in AAA.

This can’t all be blamed on Montero and Ackley though. Yes they have stunk, but the rest of the offense has had its fair share of struggles as well.

All I know is, the moves aren’t done.

We may see this carousel continue until the M’s are a .500 team, or either Jack Z or Eric Wedge are fired.

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About Clinton Bell

NWSB Editor. Born and raised in Friday Harbor. Even though he makes his home in Mesa still bleeds Seattle Blue and Green. Mariners Seahawks Sounders till the day he dies! Bring back his Sonics! Connect with Clinton today!
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