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Kirby Arnold |
Published: Friday, October 1, 2010, 5:53 p.m.

Dustin Ackley's training for 2011 begins Tuesday in Peoria

There won't be much rest of the worn down this offseason, especially for a Mariners organization that must get right back to work after the season in an attempt never to let 2010 happen again in 2011.

With that, first-base coach Mike Brumley will get one day off after the final game Sunday.

On Tuesday, he'll be on a practice field at the Mariners’ training complex in Peoria, Ariz., working with the future of the franchise -- second baseman Dustin Ackley. They will spend the week working primarily on baserunning before Ackley continues preparations for his Arizona Fall League season with the Peoria Javelinas. The Fall League schedule begins Oct. 12.

Brumley worked with Ackley at spring training early this year, but much of the focus then was on his defense at second base. The Mariners want to make Ackley a better baserunner as they look at the possibility he can play in the big leagues in 2011.

Where does Brumley start?

“The prominent thing is to get him into a comfortable stance that he feels like he can explode from,” he said. “You look at a few different areas -- where his feet are set up, where his weight is proportioned and what he’s doing with his hands.”

Once Ackley becomes comfortable with the takeoff, Brumley will work with him on the finer points of base-stealing.

“Then you start to talk about what to look for -- the type of pitcher a guy is, the areas of the body to watch, counts, understanding pitchout opportunities and just being smart about the idea of working that side of the game,” Brumley said. “Once you become a respected base stealer, they change the way they work you and the things they like to do like when to go to slide steps, when the are apt not to slide-step. So you start educating them where they can think on their own out there. That’s what you’re looking for.

“It’s like hitting or anything else. You have to get a rhythm, and once you do then your confidence grows and it’s easier to evaluate situations. Then you don’t worry about, ‘Am I too far from the bag? Can I expand my lead?’”

A few notes before tonight's game against the A's:

• Left-hander Ryan Rowland-Smith will start Sunday in the game that would have been Felix Hernandez's before the Mariners decided to shut him down. It will be Rowland-Smith's 20th start this season, but his first since July 27 before the Mariners sent him to Class AAA Tacoma.

How many pitches can he throw Sunday?

"One-fifty," Rowland-Smith deadpanned. Then he smiled.

Since being recalled, he has pitched four times out of the bullpen and thrown a high of 53 pitches on Sept. 15 against the Red Sox.

• As if it wasn't already known, manager Daren Brown said closer David Aardsma (oblique), Russell Branyan (back), Sean White (forearm) and Jose Lopez (dislocated finger) won't play before the season ends. Brown said Lopez did volunteer to pinch-run. Lopey was joking.

Also, Mike Carp (strained arch) won't start running until after he returns home to Southern California after the season.

• Best nugget today from the Mariners' crack baseball info department is this: With Ichiro Suzuki a lock to bat at least .300 (he's at .315 entering tonight), the Mariners will extend their streak of having at least one .300 hitter to 22 straight seasons. It's the longest current streak in the major leagues, ahead of Boston and Colorado (with 18 straight seasons). The Mariners can thank Ichiro profusely for keeping the streak alive because the next-closest average is Chone Figgins' .263.

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