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June 15, 2012 at 5:32 PM

Slumping Dustin Ackley dropped to seventh in order by the Mariners

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Dustin Ackley has had a rough go of things lately, hitting just .205 in June with an on-base-plus-slugging percentage (OPS) of .550. He’s hitting .190 with a .417 OPS the past week and neither number is high enough to remain a major league regular if it settles in to a long term pattern.
That said, nobody really expects that to happen. Ackley is going through what a lot of second-year players experience and he’ll have to fight his way out of it. To help that along, the Mariners today dropped him from No. 2 all the way down to No. 7 in the order.
“Yeah, absolutely,” he said. “To be honest, even yesterday was a good example. He (Edinson Volquez) made some good pitches on me early in the count. Pitches that I would have had a hard time hitting. When you fall behind, it makes it that much more tough. You’ve got to battle and the results don’t always show.
“But I’ve still been feeling good. There was a couple of at-bats where I felt I was seeing the ball really well. I let the pitches get deep. It just didn’t pay off, but I’m going to look on the bright side. I mean, I felt good. Probably my last three or four at bats I felt like I saw the ball really well. I felt my balance was where I need it to be. The results didn’t show, but like I said, I felt really good about it.”
Mariners manager Eric Wedge agreed there are times Ackley appears to be seeing the ball well and just missing on some hittable pitches. Other times, he added, he seems to be chasing.
“He’s a little bit of both,” Wedge said. “In a game four or five days ago, I felt like he was as good as we’ve seen him. He was really on the ball. His direction was good. His swing’s very consistent for me. It’s just about where he’s at and whether he’s in the position to hit the pitches he should hit.”
And for now, Wedge wants to give him a chance to see a few more pitches from further back in the lineup. That and the addition of Franklin Gutierrez to the squad has given him a right-handed bat he can use in the No. 2 spot to split the lefties up in the top third of the order.


Wedge has wanted to do this for a while. He said opposing pitchers have simply been having it too easy early on in games and late out of the bullpen as well.
“It’s just too hard to do it the way we’ve been doing it with all the lefties,” Wedge said. “It just doesn’t play well early with the starter because it allows him to get into a rhythm facing everybody from the same side of the plate. We didn’t have a choice with it because that was the cast of characters we had. But now we’re bouncing it back and forth a little between the left and the right and I think that will bode better for us.”
The lineups:
GIANTS
RF Gregor Blanco
2B Ryan Theriot
LF Melky Cabrera
C Buster Posey
CF Angel Pagan
3B Pablo Sandoval
1B Brandon Belt
SS Joaquin Arias
DH Justin Christian
RHP Ryan Vogelsong
MARINERS
RF Ichiro
CF Franklin Gutierrez
3B Kyle Seager
DH Jesus Montero
LF Michael Saunders
1B Justin Smoak
2B Dustin Ackley
C Miguel Olivo
SS Brendan Ryan
LHP Jason Vargas

Comments | Topics: Brendan Ryan, Jesus Montero

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