Mariners Analysis: Handicapping the M’s Demotion Candidates (Poll)
May 30, 2015; Seattle, WA, USA; Seattle Mariners designated hitter Rickie Weeks (25) eyes home plate umpire Jeff Kellogg as he is called out on strikes to end the eighth inning against the Cleveland Indians at Safeco Field. Mandatory Credit: Jennifer Buchanan-USA TODAY Sports
Rickie Weeks – LF
The Rickie Weeks experiment in Seattle has thus far been a colossal failure. Weeks signed with the M’s after spending the first 11 seasons of his career playing second base for the Milwaukee Brewers. The Mariners envisioned Weeks playing left field in a platoon with Dustin Ackley, but things have not gone according to plan.
The 32-year-old has looked like a shell of his former self at the plate, and the transition from second base to left field has not been a smooth one. Weeks is hitting .183 with 2 home runs and 9 RBI’s across 71 at bats in 2015. His .284 on base percentage is somewhat respectable, but his .282 slugging percentage falls well shy of his .422 career mark.
Defense has been an even bigger problem for the Southern University alum. Weeks has started just 9 games in left field, and sports a dismal .917 fielding percentage. His 1.32 range factor per 9 innings is barely within sight of the 1.98 league average. Weeks has only committed 1 error this season, but his lone miscue cost the Mariners a win against the Boston Red Sox on May 14.
However, there are a few big factors working in Weeks’ favor. Jack Zduriencik brought Weeks into the fold to face left-handed pitching, and he has fared well against southpaws in 2015. Weeks is hitting .294 with 2 home runs and 9 RBI’s against lefties this season. He also represents the M’s best pinch hitter. Weeks looks more attractive when you combine this with the fact that Weeks is out of minor league options, and demoting him would require a trip through waivers.
I think there is a decent chance the M’s give up on Rickie Weeks in the near future, but I doubt it will be this week.
Next: Dustin Ackley