Just got done speaking to Dustin Ackley in the M’s dugout at Safeco Field prior to the team taking some early batting practice.
Ackley isn’t the only Mariners youngster getting tested tonight. Justin Smoak has been moved up to the clean-up position.
So, lots to watch here on a Friday evening.
Ackley’s family is here. His mother, father, brother, sister, his fiance, her father. They all got in yesterday so they could be here for the game.
“It’s been pretty hectic,” Ackley said.
Ackley met with manager Eric Wedge this afternoon and said he’s been told to keep things loose.
“He was like, ‘If you go 0-for-4 or 4-for-4, you’re going to be in there, so don’t try to put too much on yourself’,” Ackley said. “He said he wants me to play every day. He said if he feel like, or sees anything, that I might need a day off, then he’ll take that into consideration. But I think he wants me to be playing a lot and I want to be too.”
Ackley tried not to think about when his call-up might come, even as others like Mike Carp and Greg Halman got promoted beforehand.
Instead, he tried to use the extra time to better his game. Ackley said he feels better at second base than he ever has.
“I’ve had a lot of double-plays this year, a lot of situations where I was able to get comfortable,” he said. “And I feel great.”
The double-plays are where he says he’s made his best improvements. “I think now I’m starting to be more comfortable. Better rhythm over there, better footwork.”