Traditionally, baseball teams put their best hitter in the third spot of their batting order, and the Seattle Mariners this season have penciled Milton Bradley, Franklin Gutierrez, Adam Kennedy, Ryan Langerhans and Justin Smoak in that spot.
While that says a great deal about the Mariners offense, so does this - Dustin Ackley will bat third tonight, getting there a full two weeks into his big-league career.
“When we do create opportunities to score, we want to have the right guy up there,” manager Eric Wedge said. ”We’re looking at this, so let’s just see how it plays out. We’ve been trying to find someone to fill that role.”
How comfortable is Wedge with his rookie second baseman hitting third?
“I like it when he’s coming to home plate,” Wedge said. “He’s aggressive, he has good instincts, gives you good at-bats.”
So, enjoy Ackley’s first time. It likely will not be his last.
Here’s the Seattle lineup vs. Angels RHP Ervin Santana:
Brendan Ryan SS
Dustin Ackley 2B
Miguel Olivo C
Justin Smoak 1 B
Jack Cust DH
Franklin Gutierrez CF
Kyle Seager 3B
Greg Halman LF
Blake Beavan P