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July 7, 2012 at 6:38 PM

Eric Wedge says he’ll try Dustin Ackley in leadoff spot the next two days, see if results change

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Mariners manager Eric Wedge says he is trying to “think outside the box” by re-installing Dustin Ackley in the leadoff spot. The Mariners have already tried that twice this season with Chone Figgins and Ichiro and Ackley will be their third attempt to try to revive a struggling hitter in the No. 1 position.
“Ackley had some success when he was leading off before, so we’ll get him up there,” Wedge said. “Ichiro in the two-hole, it’s a different look for him, a different look for us. We’re just trying to exhaust everything as we try to get out of the funk that we’re in.”
Wedge said he’ll go with this arrangement tonight and tomorrow. Then, during the break, “it will be time to re-evaluate everything.”
During his media session, Wedge kept going on and on about how much he liked seeing Ackley up top.
“I liked him up there,” Wedge said. “He hasn’t done anything to deserve to be up there right now. But I’m just trying to think outside the box, get him back up there and hopefully try to get him going a little bit.
“Ichi’s been struggling so it’s a different look for him, too, but back to Ackley, I liked him up there in the leadoff spot, I liked what he provided for us in that role, so it’s just something that we’ll do today and tomorrow and go from there. I don’t want to just cruise into the break not trying everything we can possibly could because every game counts.”
Makes you wonder why, if Wedge liked Ackley up top so much with that .358 OBP out of the leadoff spot, the team bothered messing with a good thing in the first place. Why, in a rebuilding year focused on young players, it was so important for the Mariners to shove a struggling Ichiro back in the leadoff spot on June 1.
I know the stated reasoning for it. Let’s just say, it was a questionable move then and it really blew up in the team’s face.

We’ll never really know for certain whether moving Ackley out of the leadoff spot is what torpedoed his season from there. But the Mariners and Wedge seem to buy into that at least a bit, or they wouldn’t be making this move.
Wedge was asked whether Ackley was doing anything differently as a leadoff hitter.
“He had better plate coverage,” Wedge said. “I mean, he knows this. Eveybody out there knows what the hell they need to be doing in order to be successful. And that’s the most frustrating part of it. But ultimately, they’ve got to do it.”
Wedge has juggled his lineup significantly tonight, putting John Jaso in at catcher and the cleanup spot. Carlos Peguero is in at DH and it doesn’t look like Jesus Montero will be playing at all this weekend.
He’ll try to take some BP today, but Wedge isn’t going to catch him again before the break. Carlos Peguero is the DH tonight.
“I’ll tell you what,” Wedge said. “It’s one hell of a frustrating process to sit down and try to put a lineup together right now because people aren’t doing their jobs.”
He added: “After a while, you’ve got to get tired of getting your teeth kicked in. To a man, they’ve got to get tired at some point in time of getting their teeth kicked in and come to the ballpark and do something about it.”
The lineups:
2B Dustin Ackley
RF Ichiro
CF Michael Saunders
C John Jaso
3B Kyle Seager
LF Casper Wells
1B Justin Smoak
DH Carlos Peguero
SS Brendan Ryan
LHP Jason Vargas
CF Coco Crisp
2B jemile Weeks
RF Josh Reddck
LF Yoenis Cespedes
1B Chris Carter
DH Jonny Gomes
3B Brandon Inge
SS Brandon Hicks
C Kurt Suzuki
RHP Jarrod Parker

Comments | Topics: Brendan Ryan, Chone Figgins, Jesus Montero


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