After Sunday’s walk off gave the Mariners the momentum they needed, they decided not to sit on their laurels Monday. Around 10:30 PT, the Mariners announced two moves to further shake up the big club. The Mariners optioned Dustin Ackley to AAA Tacoma and replaced him with 2B/SS Nick Franklin. Seattle also sent Lucas Luetge to Tacoma and selected Hector Noesi from AAA. Francisco Martinez was DFA’d to make room for Franklin on the 40-man roster.
Ackley, the Mariners’ second overall pick in the 2009 draft, was mired in an 0-for-19 slump. His average had fallen to .205 during the slump, and he looked completely lost at the plate. Ackley had just one home run and eight RBI in 45 games this season.
Franklin, whom many consider the Mariners future at second base, excelled in Tacoma to start 2013. His .324 batting average with four homers and 20 RBI made him a quality candidate for promotion. It was a matter of when, not if, for his Seattle debut. His OPS of .912 and seven stolen bases could really transform a struggling Mariners middle infield.
Luetge, the Mariners’ lefty specialist, has struggled mightily in 2013. His 7.15 in 11.1 innings has been a rare blemish in an overall solid Mariners bullpen. He has failed several times in his “one-batter” role this year.
Noesi, who started the Mariners most recent win prior to Sunday, has floated between Tacoma and Seattle all year. Eric Wedge said Noesi got the call for his long-relief ability. Struggling starters Aaron Harang and Brandon Maurer start the next two days, and the Mariners need Noesi in case one or both blows up.
Here’s the Mariners Monday lineup, with Harang against San Diego’s Clayton Richard:
- Bay LF
- Seager 3B
- Morales 1B
- Morse RF
- Ibanez DH
- Shoppach C
- Chavez CF
- Truinfel 2B
- Ryan SS