Under what conditions should one consider trading outfielder Dustin Ackley?
This question arose recently, as rumors circulated that Mariners General Manager Jack Zduriencik turned down a seemingly reasonable offer to send Ackley to the New York Yankees in exchange for a pair of prospects.
Baffled as many fans were that anyone would refuse an offer to jettison the failed former No. 2 overall draft pick, we still find ourselves asking whether dealing Ackley makes sense or not.
Below is a hand-crafted flow chart that should help sort this mess out. (Please click on the image for full resolution.)
The second half of Dustin Ackley’s 2014 season has borne one of the more remarkable individual turnarounds in recent memory. Ackley, who spent the previous two-and-a-half years playing miserable baseball, emerged exactly two months ago finally looking like the No. 2 overall draft selection the Mariners made him in 2009.
In and of themselves, Ackley’s stats tell a compelling story. In the first half of 2014, the 26-year-old posted a middling .225/.282/.335/.617 slash line, with just four home runs and 29 RBI. Coming out of the All-Star Break, those numbers seemingly transformed overnight.
Since July 18th, Ackley’s numbers are more Stefan Urquelle than Steve Urkel. Along with an eye-opening .287/.322/.489/.811 slash line, the Mariners’ starting left fielder has cracked seven dingers and driven in 33 runs. Those statistics are worthy of individual callouts, so bear with me for a moment.
Continue reading The Indisputable Importance of Dustin Ackley
It was bound to happen sooner or later: Mike Zunino had to be called up to the big leagues. The end result was imminent, yet the timing of that end result was a point of contention for pundits and fans alike. It was never about if, but always about when. That “when” hit today, as news broke this morning that the No. 3 overall pick in the 2012 Draft would be making his way to Seattle to take over as the team’s starting catcher (or at least part-time starting catcher, with a nod to Kelly Shoppach).
Almost immediately, opinions on the move flooded the internet. The prevailing sentiment, naturally, is that this promotion was more of a job-saving maneuver than anything else, a way for those on the hot seat — namely, general manager Jack Zduriencik and manager Eric Wedge — to try and salvage employment at season’s end.
Continue reading Jack Zduriencik’s Ass-Saving Renaissance
It’s like a mailbag, but with Twitter. Because outside of work, no one sends emails anymore. To participate in future Twitterbags, look for the #SSNTwitterbag hashtag and follow along, @alexSSN.
Will Antoine Winfield sign [with the Seahawks]? -via @caseyc8
Winfield, a 35-year-old free agent cornerback just released by Minnesota, is one of the premier players at his position, even at this late stage in his career. A former All-Pro and three-time Pro Bowl honoree, Winfield reportedly worked out with the Seahawks just a few days ago.
To atone for my relative ignorance on Winfield’s contractual prospects, I went to one of the brightest football minds I know for some help. My buddy Curtis Crabtree (speaking of Twitter, follow him @Curtis_Crabtree) — who covers the Seahawks for Sports Radio KJR, as well as the west coast for ProFootballTalk — was able to provide some insight for us on the situation:
Continue reading SSN Twitterbag: Antoine Winfield’s future, Mariner busts, the limit on what we’ll let fall in our beer, and more
I love this team. Don’t get me wrong. I just happen to hate this version of this team. It’s like when you’re a kid and you screw up and your parents get mad at you. It doesn’t mean they don’t love you anymore. They’re just upset for the time being. That’s all it is.
On paper, the 2011 Seattle Mariners are grosser than a Brendan Fraser movie. They’re flat boring. Brendan Ryan? Adam Kennedy? Jack Cust? Eh. Let’s be real here. None of those guys get you excited about the future of this team. They just don’t. But at least we got rid of Ryan Rowland-Smith. The Minus. Addition by subtracting the Subtraction. Though I suppose we could reacquire his goofy didgeridoo ass since he was just cut by the Houston Astros. Seriously. And he spent his entire offseason doing MMA workouts with Jay Glazer, too. Gee, I don’t know how that didn’t lead to success.
Continue reading The Harsh Reality Of The 2011 Seattle Mariners
Something tells me life would be better if Michael Pineda and Dustin Ackley were playing for the Mariners right now. I don’t really have any justification for this. Heck, I don’t even know what Pineda looks like. I do, however, know that Ackley is a scrawny white boy from North Carolina, which would generally register a reading of absolute zero on my gaydar (it’s an electronic device…you buy it at Staples).
Here’s the thing, though. Everyone is talking about this unlikely tandem like they’re the love spawn of Zeus and Jennifer Aniston or something. Fact is, I know my minor leaguers. But unless they come bearing the reputation of a guy like Stephen Strasburg, they mean very little to me. Which is why up until a few weeks ago, I didn’t really give a damn about Pineda, de facto ace of the Tacoma Rainiers, nor his sidekick at second base, Ackley.
This is absolute blasphemy to some of you. I get that. Don’t freak out. To many of you, Pineda is hung like Greg Oden and Ackley is the second coming of Jack Perconte Jeff Schaefer Bret Boone. There are those folks who cling to these guys’ nuts like a bad rash. I understand. I’m not trying to cramp your zest.
Continue reading My Life Needs Closure: Summon Pineda and Ackley
Shortly after pitching phenom Stephen Strasburg was off the board with the first selection in the 2009 MLB draft, the Seattle Mariners made their highest draft pick since 1993, a year in which they selected a shortstop by the name of Alex Rodriguez with the No. 1 overall choice.
Following the Washington Nationals’ pick of Strasburg may have been like following the Cleveland Cavaliers 2003 NBA draft selection of Lebron James, but rest assured the Mariners did their best to come away with someone a little better than Darko Milicic.
Continue reading M’s Build Towards Future With Draft, Morrow
Dustin Ackley, first baseman/outfielder from the University of North Carolina.
Two picks into the draft, and everything’s going as expected. The number one selection was, naturally, Stephen Strasburg, who went to the Washington Nationals.
Ackley is the first three-time All-American baseball player in UNC history, and a possible five-tool player. He can hit for average (batted over .400 for UNC this year), has the potential to hit for power, has good speed, and plays good defense in center field. His arm is a question after surgery in 2008, which is why he shifted to first base in 2009.
If I had to compare Ackley to any player in recent MLB history, based on everything I’ve seen and heard about him, it would have to be Darin Erstad.
Continue reading With The Second Overall Pick In The 2009 Draft, The Mariners Select…
Today is the big day.
Major League Baseball’s amateur draft will take place this afternoon and one can only speculate as to who the Mariners will receive as their consolation prize for sweeping the A’s in last season’s final series of the year. I mean, really, all we had to do was lose one game for God’s sake and we’d be talking about Stephen Strasburg, M’s ace.
Instead, most mock drafts have us taking CF/1B Dustin Ackley from North Carolina, which is essentially like ending up with Darko Milicic after Lebron was off the board. Okay, maybe it’s not that bad, but I wouldn’t go so far as to call Ackley the next Carmelo Anthony.
Either way, we’ll just have to wait and see who the M’s end up with. If it’s not Ackley, the next most likely scenario is that the team takes a high school pitcher, which is always a little bit frightening considering the risk involved.
Continue reading Happy Strasburg Day!