What? Trade Ackley?
To sell, or not to sell, that is the question upon Jack Z’s desk.
In the interest of self preservation I’ll grant you that Mariners GM, Jack Zduriencik, may not sell off any of his soon to be free agents or failed younger players. It’s entirely possible he’ll push through and try to scrape a .500 season out of this club to save his own and Manager Eric Wedge’s job but I just don’t think it would be the right thing to do.
Unfortunate but true, it’s time for the Mariners to dump some players mid-season yet again in hope of landing a young prospect that can catch fire next year.
Some choices are obvious. Raul Ibanez has trade value right now so does Michael Morse if he can show he’s healthy. Kendrys Morales? You betchya! The first to go might surprise you though, Dustin Ackley.
The Mariners failed second baseman turned centerfielder is a bust. In nearly 1200 at bats he’s amassed a career batting average of .237 and this year he’s flirting with the Mendoza line batting an absurd .216.
He’s not a center fielder either.
His range is, average, to be polite and would be better suited for a corner outfield spot. His arm strength is non-existent which is why the Mariners tried him at second to begin with.
You certainly aren’t going to put him back at second with Nick Franklin now emerging as a viable AL Rookie of the Year candidate so where do you put Ackley to keep him?
Move him to a corner outfield spot you say? As a team, how well can you do with a corner outfielder that struggles to hit .200 and has no run production to speak of? Right now Michael Saunders is the best center fielder on the roster and he should be getting those reps.
Batting average aside the only realistic place Ackley should play in the outfield is left. He doesn’t have the arm or the glove to play center or right.
Right now Ackley just looks defeated on the field. There is no spring in his step, no sparkle in his eye, and certainly no pop in his bat. He still runs hard to first base on his all too common, ground ball to second, but I just don’t see any life left in him.
If you send him back to AAA again you have a log jam of outfielders named Stefen Romero, Carlos Peguero and Abraham Almonte all hitting the ball with authority and then you have Ackley… a would be left fielder with a minus arm, minus bat and a serious confidence problem.
Why do you need another left fielder? Nothing has worked out the way anyone would have imagined for Ackley.
Dustin might be the poster child of a young player who needs the “change of scenery”.
Give it to him.
Tell him to pack his bags and shave that beard. It’s time for a fresh start. He deserves it and it’s time for the Mariners to move on.