The Mariners made an inevitable move Monday, shipping struggling second baseman Dustin Ackley to the Tacoma Rainiers so he can sort out his hitting problems there.
The Mariners made a spate of roster moves in advance of Monday’s first of a two-game home series with the San Diego Padres at Safeco Field, principal among them the optioning of second baseman Dustin Ackley and reliever Lucas Luetge to AAA Tacoma. Ackley went 0-for-5 in Sunday’s 13th-inning walk-off win over Texas, is hitting just .205 and is on an 0-for-19 slide.
Luetge is 0-1 with a 7.15 ERA in 11 appearances covering two stints with the club. The Mariners also designated minor-league OF Francisco Martinez for assignment.
Seattle promoted INF Nick Franklin and recalled RHP Hector Noesi from Tacoma and both will be available Monday.
Late last week, the Mariners sent down Jesus Montero to Tacoma to learn to play first base, giving up on the task of making him a full-time catcher. They also called up INF Carlos Triunfel and designated for assignment INF Robert Andino.
Triunfel made his first start at second Monday, but Franklin, after having played shortstop most of his baseball career, was getting more games at second in anticipation of the Ackley move after he starting fading in the second half of the 2012 season.
Franklin, 22, batted .324 (46×142) with 28 runs scored, nine doubles, four home runs, 20 RBIs and seven stolen bases in 39 games with AAA Tacoma. The switch-hitter hit safely in 29 of 39 games, including a season-high, 12-game hit streak from April 16-May 1 (.463/19×41, 12 R, 3 2B, 3 HR, 12 RBI).
Selected in the first round of the 2009 June draft (27th overall) out of Lake Brantley High School (FL), Franklin is a career .287 hitter (443×1545) in 394 games over five minor league seasons (2009-13). He entered this season ranked as the No. 47 prospect by MLB.com.
Noesi, 26, returns to the major league roster for his second stint this season with the Mariners. He is 0-0 with a 2.63 ERA (4 ER, 13.2 IP) in five appearances (1 start). He made a spot start vs. the Yankees May 16, allowing one unearned run in 4.1 innings. In three minor league starts this season (1 w/Tacoma, 2 w/Jackson), Noesi went 1-0 with a 3.38 ERA (6 ER, 16.0 IP).
The Mariners selected Ackley with the second overall pick in the 2009 amateur draft and fast-tracked him to the major leagues. He hit .273 as a rookie two years ago and slumped to .226 last year before plunging to .205 in 45 games this season. He had a .226 on-base percentage and .250 slugging percentage.
Ackley attempted to change his batting stance this season in order to get better production. But it didn’t work and he reverted back to his old stance. That didn’t work, either, so Ackley will receive an extended stay with the Rainiers to sort out his problems. He joins
The departure of Martinez is another blow to the Doug Fister trade. The rising pitching star, along with reliever David Pauley, were sent to Detroit July 30, 2011, in exchange for Martinez, then a third baseman, RHP Chance Ruffin, OF Casper Wells and LHP Charlie Furbush.
After releasing Wells in March, only Furbush, a lefty reliever, remains on the major league roster from the deal.