Two exciting news items this morning for the Mariners coming from Rotoworld via twitter. First is that Franklin Gutierrez should be back in a week, which is outstanding news for Mariners fans. While Michael Saunders has played good defense, his .225 wOBA has just killed the Mariners. Even if Gutierrez just hits to his career average of a .316 wOBA, that would noticeably improve the Mariners’ run scoring ability.
I would imagine that if he returns and stays healthy, he would be worth at least 2 WAR down the stretch. Plus he’ll boost the team’s sexiness efficiency rating by 14%. Additionally, this will allow Saunders to move to left field, improving the defense there. I still believe Saunders is a better major league hitter today than Carlos Peguero, so the offense wouldn’t be as much of an issue in the corner.
Second, and even more exciting, is that GM Jack Zduriencik has said that Ackley’s promotion to the majors will come “sooner rather than later.” After seeing Jack Wilson and Adam Kennedy man the position this season, fans have to be excited that Ackley is on the verge of coming up. Ackley has a 1.043 OPS in May, and by all accounts his defense has improved at second. He’d immediately be one of the teams better hitters upon promotion, and with this team’s offensive struggles, it appears Zduriencik may call him up soon, despite the fact that it would likely make him a super-two player when it comes to arbitration eligibility. Two great pieces of news that promise to give fans a reason to watch the team other than Smoak, Pineda, and Felix in the near future.