You sensed it might be coming, and now it’s happened. As tweeted by Mike Curto, the Tacoma announcer, Dustin Ackley is starting in left field tonight for the Rainiers. Just talked to Jack Zduriencik, and he said that Ackley began working out in the outfield yesterday — center as well as the corners — and is fully on board the decision to work him out there. He’s been working with Brant Brown, their minor-league outfield coordinator.
With the emergence of Nick Franklin, it makes sense to try Ackley in the outfield, which is where he played at the University of North Carolina before Tommy John surgery resulted in his move to first base.
“I think it’s good for Dustin,” Zduriencik said. ” We’ve always talked about that. You never know what will happen. Versatility is a good thing. Right now, we spoke to him yesterday, asked him to take balls in the outfield, and he’s wide open to it. It’s great. He took balls in center field yesterday, took balls in left field, and tonight he’s starting in left.”
Asked if Ackley will keep starting games in the outfield, Zduriencik said, “We’ll see him play the outfield. Just see how it goes. We know what he’s done at second base; we’ll let him get his feet wet in the outfield.”