Mariners Outfield Now Complete?


Rickie Weeks became a Mariner this week and at first glance it seems like a strange move. Weeks is a second baseman and the Mariner already a pretty good player at that position, however; then the idea of putting him in the corner outfield position was mentioned which I found interesting.

From a defensive view, its tough to say how that could work out. He’s only played second base in his career and his defensive ability at that position has dropped off in the past couple seasons. Already losing range and trying out new positions might be a difficult task.

His defense might not be a worry if he can provide value at the plate though. I believed the Mariners would have done well to sign another power right handed outfielder to provide balance in the lineup and even though he wasn’t my first thought, Weeks could be the right man for the job.

Even though he played in 121 games last year Weeks’ playing time was limited as he only had 286 plate appearances. He made the most of his chances though as he had a nice .357 OBP. Showing he can succeed in a limited role is huge given I don’t believe there is a position he can take over for everyday duty.

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Without Weeks, it looked like the corner outfields would consist of a constant rotation between Dustin Ackley, Justin Ruggiano, and Seth Smith with Ackley mostly manning left and the others mostly in right. Throw Nelson Cruz into the mix every once in a while and it could have been. While I believe Ackley still has a chance to be a good everyday player, as fans we’ve been let down too many time to put all our eggs in that basket.

Ackley should still be the first choice in left but Weeks could take some of the pressure. Ackley struggles, as many left handed batters do, against left handed pitchers.

If Weeks can take some of the at bats against lefties they can be able to help each other out. If he sneaks an at bat against a right handed pitcher that’s nothing to worry about because Weeks actually hit righties better than lefties last year.

While this outfield will be put together with several different pieces I believe it now has the potential to be even a strength. A few things have to happen for that to be true. Of course, Lloyd McClendon has to decide that is how he wants to use Weeks.

Then, he has to be able to make the correct decision of who to play on any given day. Finally, Austin Jackson has to bounce back from a season in which he struggled after being traded to the Mariners. Put all this together and they could be set in the outfield.