Here’s a post I put up on the Hot Stone League about Mike Morse.
Lots of interesting stuff this morning, starting with the lineup. Dustin Ackley, who in four previous starts has moved from seventh to sixth to fifth in the order, is hitting second today as Brendan Ryan gets a day off — as does Chone Figgins. Much more on that, but first, here are the lineups:
51 Ichiro RF
13 Dustin Ackley 2B
4 Adam Kennedy 3B
17 Justin Smoak 1B
30 Miguel Olivo C
20 Mike Carp LF
21 Franklin Gutierrez CF
2 Jack Wilson SS
36 Michael Pineda RHP
2 Roger Bernadina CF
28 Jayson Werth RF
11 Ryan Zimmerman 3B
38 Mike Morse 1B
18 Danny Espinosa 2B
7 Ivan Rodriguez C
15 Jerry Hairston LF
21 Jason Marquis RHP
6 Ian Desmond SS
Here’s what Wedge said about Ackley hitting second: “I thought about it a lot last night. It’s a chance to get maybe an extra AB, and hopefully a little more energy up top. We have to give Ryno a day off today anyway. With the way he plays, you have to give him a day off every now and then. There’s only one speed for him, and that’s all out. I love him. I want him in every day. I love his energy and passion. Today is a good day with this heat. I’m just trying to be wise with that one.”
I asked Wedge if Ackley will hit second when Ryan returns to the lineup.
“I don’t know. I’m going to see how it plays out. I’m not sure yet. I’m kind of playing it day by day right now. I don’t want to do it that way. That’s just where we are. That’s just the truth. I want to get to the point we can settle into something. But until we get all the pieces here and everybody doing what they’re supposed to be doing, it’s going to be hard to do that.”
That said, “You can’t run away from Ackley,” Wedge said. “You can’t ignore what you see. I’m not going to be stubborn and keep him down at the bottom just because he’s a young kid when he’s out there swinging the way he’s swinging.”
I talked to Ackley, who said, “It’s a good feeling knowing he has confidence in me in that spot. I feel like that’s a spot I’m comfortable in as far as bunting, moving runners, things like that. I know Brendan has a day off today, and he’s normally the No. 2 hitter. I take that in consideration. I’ll try to do the best I can in that spot today. Whether I’m back tomorrow, or seventh or sixth, I’m going to try to do what needs to be done there.”
This is just me talking, but I don’t think Ackley is going to hit anywhere but second moving forward.
As for Kennedy, Wedge gave his strongest indicdation yet that he will get the bulk of the time at third base, at the expense of struggling Figgins.
“I’ve thought more,” Wedge said. “It’s a fine line for me. With Adam, he’s a better player when we give him strategic days off. We know that. But that’s hard to do, because we are a different lineup when he’s in there. But he’s going to continue to play more. He’s going to play more at third, obviously. We’ll still have to give him those days off every now and then to keep him at a level we need him. But with Ackley here, if Ryno keeps playing the way he’s playing, we should be OK with that.”
And the ramifications for Figgins?
“He’s just not going to get as much playing time. He knows that. He wants to get going more than anybody. I want him to get going more than anybody, but he’s in between right now. That’s not where you want to be. We’ll pick our spots to get him in there, and hopefully he can start heading in the right direction.”
And more Wedge on Figgins: “He has to be honest with himself, and he has to be the one who does it. We’ve had all the conversations. He’s been there, done that before. He’s going to have to dig deep and fight through this thing. You can’t get through this in a passive manner. You have to fight through this to get out of it. It’s not easy. He’s neck deep in it right now, and he’s going to have to fight through it. We’re going to give him all the support we can try to give him, and go from there.”