BY SPNW Staff 12:21PM 05/27/2013

Mariners Demote Ackley, Summon Nick Franklin

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 finally shipped slumping second baseman Dustin Ackley to Tacoma Monday after the former No. 1 pick hit just .205. / Drew McKenzie, Sportspress Northwest

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

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.




  • jafabian

    Had some hope for Dustin because he did have a two week hot streak (for him) a month ago but afterwards he really did a tailspin. Hopefully he’ll get things straightened out in Tacoma because he’s too good a talent to trade away.

    • Steve Rudman

      That’s precisely why they sent him to Tacoma, where he can work on his offensive issues without the pressure of having to produce at the MLB level. Thanks for your comments.

  • 1coolguy

    Wouldn’t it be GREAT if someday we would get GOOD news about a player the M’s traded for?
    I don’t know if we have had much to talk about since Gillick left as GM.

    • Steve Rudman

      You’re right about the Death Valley since Gillick. But the Mariners traded Jason Vargas for Kendrys Morales and he’s working out so far.