Mariners Insider

Roster move: Nick Franklin and Hector Noesi join the Mariners, Dustin Ackley and Lucas Luetge optioned to Tacoma

Post by Ryan Divish on May 27, 2013 at 10:48 am with 16 Comments »
May 27, 2013 3:10 pm

The roster shuffling for the Seattle Mariners continues. On Monday, the team announced that it had selected infielder Nick Franklin and recalled pitcher Hector Noesi from Triple A Tacoma. To make room, second baseman Dustin Ackley and pitcher Lucas Luetge were optioned to Tacoma.

Obviously, the call up  Franklin and demotion of Ackley are the big news.

With an 0-for-5 game yesterday, Ackley was hitless in his last 22 plate appearances. After getting his batting average up to .255 on May 4 in Toronto, Ackley struggled, getting just six hits in his next 62 plate appearances and posting a batting average of .111 (6-for-54) with just one extra base hit.

His average had fallen to .205 (32-for-156) with a .266 on-base percentage and a .250 slugging percentage.

He will go to Tacoma to try and figure out what has gone wrong.

“It was just time,” Wedge said. “Obviously, we fought for the guy for quite a period of time now and wanted to make it work up here and not have to do that. Ultimately, we couldn’t take it any further.”

Wedge believes much of Ackley’s issues are not physical.

“With Ack, it’s more of a mental approach or a mindset up there, it’s not his swing anymore,” Wedge said. “He’s in a pretty good position fundamentally. Listen, he’s going to be a good hitter and he’s going to be a good player. He’s done a hell of a job at second base. He plays a great second base. He gets down the line quicker than anybody. He can steal a bag. He cuts the bases better than anybody. There’s a lot there to like. He’s a good kid. He competes. He just needs to get over some things mentally in regards to his approach. When he does that, we’ll get him back up there and I think he’ll take off.”

Ackley seems to be hitting in 0-2 and 1-2 counts constantly.

“That’s one of the examples that he needs to get beyond,” Wedge said. “Have a little more attitude in the box. It’s easier to be free and easy in the count when you can let it rip. It’s hard to be perfect in this game. You can’t go out and play this game care free if you are worried about failure. You have to go out there and let it rip.”

Wedge seemed adamant in a radio interview on Friday that sending Ackley down wasn’t an option.

“If you don’t know me by now, I’m going to be adamant till the end, while knowing where I’m at inside,” he said. “I’m going to back these guys till the end. Now how far we are down the road, or how far I’m down that road may be different than what I”m talking to you guys about.”

General manager Jack Zduriencik said the move had to be made.

“I think it was very evident to us that what this guy needed was to take him out from under the big league bright lights if you will, take a step backward, go down and try and get your swing back, try to regain your confidence and let the pieces fall where they may,” he said. “It’s not unusual for this to happen. We see it a lot with big league players.”

Zduriencik said Ackley took the news like a professional.

“I think he was very open to it. I think he was understanding of where we’re at,” Zduriencik said. “I said to him this was a decision that we made that we think is for your best benefit as well as the organizations benefit at this time. I think he understood that. I think there was a part of him that was very disappointed and another part of him that wants to be part of a club – he’s here, he’s part of this team – but we have to look at the big picture on all these scenarios, all these situations, both with Jesus and him.”

Zduriencik believes Ackley’s hitting issues can be fixed

“I think a lot of it with hitting is confidence – confidence in what you’re trying to do as a hitter and what they’re trying to do to you and making adjustments,” he said. “Sometimes you get into a scenario as a big league hitter where you lose your feel and I think that some of what was going on with him. None of us have the exact answers, but we do know that if we remove him from the bright lights from the major leagues and let him go down to Triple-A and regain his stroke, again the history of what this guy has done in his career just stares you right in the face. That he’s got to be a big league hitter. The issue is he hasn’t been producing up here and he just needs to go back. This is the right move for him. He needs to go back and regain his confidence, regain his stroke, put him in a different environment where there is less pressure on him and concentrate on being the Dustin Ackley that was drafted a few years ago. ”

Franklin has certainly earned the call-up. He was hitting .325 (46-for-142) in Tacoma with a .440 on-base percentage with a .472 slugging percentage. He has nine doubles and four homers and 20 RBI.

“I see him playing more second base,” Wedge said. “I want to take a look at him. It’s a great opportunity to take a look at him. We’ll let him get settled today and start him tomorrow.”

To make room for Franklin on the 40-man roster, outfielder Francisco Martinez was designated for assignment.  Martinez was part of the group of players the Tigers sent to Seattle in exchange for Doug Fister and David Pauley. Of that group – only Charlie Furbush is with the Mariners big league club. Martinez, who was once a regarded third base prospect, and Caspwer Wells have been DFA’d, while reliever Chance Ruffin is being converted to a starter in Double A Jackson. 

The reason for the Noesi call up is the Mariners bullpen took a pretty good beating yesterday in the extra inning win. And the uncertainty of Aaron Harang starting today and Brandon Maurer made it prudent to be proactive.

Luetge is one of the few relievers with Triple A options.

“We had to make a move today, had to,” Wedge said. “I don’t think it’s any coincidence that our starter goes eight innings, gives up two runs and we win the game.”

The Mariners will be without a few relievers today. I’m guessing Yoervis Medina and possibly Tom Wilhelmsen will be unavailable.

Leave a comment Comments → 16
  1. Congrats for the scoop on twitter, well done.

  2. bbnate420 says:

    So, if Franklin takes 2nd and runs with it do they switch Ackley to the OF, assuming he gets his swing together?

  3. Skysport says:

    The question is will Nick Franklin grab hold of 2nd base and not let go the way Seager grabbed hold of 3rd? I say yes.

  4. Leutge has regressed since half-way through last season. Not sure why – it may be his control is not as good. He seems to throw too many balls not even close enough to entice a hitter. I hope the AAA stint can cure whatever is needed.
    Happy for the Ackley/Franklin switch –
    There may be another pitching change, depending on the next 3 games (before Felix).

  5. dave8557 says:

    Excellent moves today and this week with Andino, Montero, Luetge and Ackley. Not giving up on Ackley or Montero, but they need to prove themselves again in Tacoma. The next big issue is Harang and Saunders. If they cannot get guys out, I suggest trying Carter Capps or Stephen Prior in a starting role. Start stretching out their appearances to see what they can do. Obviously the started in Tacoma are not quite ready. But there are a lot of good arms on the big league roster. So use them. Don’t pidgeon hole all the pitchers in these small roles. Expand their roles. Congrats to the Z-man for making these moves.

  6. crytalball says:

    What about Smoak, can we please send him down please.

  7. SKYTZO425 says:

    @Dave8557: Pryor is hurt and isn’t going to be back in the bigs for at least a month, but even if he was healthy he only has 2 offerings that he can use as a starter and that’s not enough to be effective for more than a few innings. Capps on the other hand can throw up to 5 pitches and 2 of them are plus, I’ve thought for a while they should give him a shot at starting. The only issue with that is he’d have to go back to AAA and start down there for a while because he’s never been a starter before, and asking him at 22 years old to start for the first time in the bigs is too much to ask. He has 5 pitchs but only usually only uses 2-3 of the coming out of the bullpen, so to be an effective starter he’d not only have to be stretched out but he’d need at least a month or two to get those other 2 pitchs working enough to get big lesgue hitters out.

    Most likely they’ll wait for Hultzen an Erasmo to get healthy and get a few AAA starts in and then bring them up to the show. If they can’t wait that long Andrew Caraway has pitched great this year in AAA, they’ll give him and Noesi a shot if it gets too bad with Saunders, Harang ir Maurer.

    Harang just tossed a gem of a complete game shutout today though, so hopefully he’s getting it figured out. It was at SAFECO against San Diego though, lets see what he does on the road against a team that can actually hit.

  8. so is this the “we’ve given up the season but just wait till next year” moves? It’s not even the All Star break!

    Give the Cy Young to the M’s PR department. Once again we were all excited for how great this season would be.

  9. dakineinthemuk says:

    ok, then…no one can say ackley didnt get every chance plus a few more…would actually like to see seager at 2nd…miller/nick f at ss and liddi 3b…..ok, ryan is actually hitting lately–a whopping..214…morse nearly 50 ks in less than 200 abs/11 hr’s/20 rbi’s–dreadful!…he has close to the worst stats of mlb regulars–j votto has same k’s and hitting .340 …harang/saunders/mauer..omg…bring anybody up…pleease..capps my idea as well..the “modern”concept of starters going 7 ip, then another releiver(s)/closer…what nonsense…22 pitches was the max for tom w other day…ay@##@km…try to take gibson/ryan out..anyway jz wont fire wedgie–his dude….if/when this season goes where its going…cant play astros/padres every game ..with felix– not 100%?? …only kuma has been steady……only consistency is incompetent management on/off field..go m’s….please

  10. bbnate420 says:

    It seems the only people more ignorant about baseball than Chuckles and Schmuckles are some of the people that comment on this blog.

  11. dakineinthemuk says:

    …ok, then…i am comfused…would you mr chuckles or mr schmuckles….my $$ is on the schmuckster…

  12. bbnate420 says:

    Chuckles is Chuck Armstrong. Schmuckles is Lincoln. But thanks for the illiterate feedback.

    You say that Morse is one of the worst regulars in the league. A guy with a .780 OPS that is striking out 26.7 % of the time. Morse has a history of heating up as the season progresses too. Then you suggest they play Liddi at 3rd. A guy that has a .794 OPS and is striking out 37.1 % of the time in EFFING AAA. SMH. Your post is rambling and nonsensical.

  13. Haha @Nate, you beat me to it.

  14. dakineinthemuk says:

    ….thanks so much for clearing that up…with your version of the truth…chuckles and schmuckles…oooh, clever….the stats are what they are…aren’t they..?…just a quick check of the m’s stats paints a clear picture with ops/obp…cat(sorry..)…. OBP.375/morales, .340/seager, raul, .355/bay .352/smoak…314/morse

    OPS..859/morales,.800/seager, even raul(.821) & .bay(787) have higher OPS than morse(.779)..morse does lead team in strikeouts….enuff…if all else fails check the numbers…wanna sign morse to long term deal??..? bout morales..heck yeh (does he want to stay will determine that)….sounds like jack is not keen on either at this time..never mind, he won’t be here anyway…as for “rambling and nonsensical”…cold hard facts are neither foolish nor absurd…as for “chuckles & schmuckles”…now there’s some intelligent banter…watch the illiterate cracks tho..dont take this personal mike….

  15. bbnate420 says:

    Look at your grammar and syntax. Illiterate is just a fact. And I never said that Morse is the best player on the M’s. YOU said he was the WORST regular. Nice try with the straw man argument though. You can’t actually defend what you ACTUALLY said. What about Liddi?

    And yes, I would like to sign Morse for the right price. I wouldn’t give him 15 mil a year or anything. I bet you he has one of the highest OPS’s on the team when the season is over. He’s not real far behind right now. Morales is a good player, but he’s not resigning here. He’s a Boras client. He’s going where the money is and/or where he can win, i.e. not here. Trade him in July for some value. And who cares what Z thinks. He’ll be gone after the year anyways.

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