One of the more pleasant exercises for a Mariners fan right now is to look at Dustin Ackley’s daily line for the Peoria Javelinas in the Arizona Fall League.
After a 2-for-5 game (with a home run) in the Javelinas’ 7-4 victory Monday over Scottsdale, Ackley is batting .344 in 32 Fall League at-bats. His .522 on-base percentage is propped by a five-walk game last week, and five of his 11 hits are for extra bases (three doubles and two homers).
What’s not to like about the way Ackley is playing for Peoria? Here’s one thing: He’s not running like the Mariners want him to run.
Nearly halfway through the Fall League season, Ackely has one stolen base in one attempt, even though the Mariners urged him to run more and have had their coaches work with him on baserunning. Mariners first-base coach Mike Brumley worked with him early this month and Darrin Garner, their minor league infield and baserunning coordinator, works regularly with him in pregame Fall League work.
“I told him, ‘It doesn’t matter how many times you get caught stealing,’” Garner said. “If you get thrown out, so what? If it happens three times in a row, so what? You’re learning every time you go.
“You’re trying to win games here, but you’re also here to work on your skills. You probably don’t want to go and there are times in the game that dictate don’t go. But early in the game, the game always dictates go. You’ve got to work on your game. If you don’t work on your game, it doesn’t do you any good as an individual.”
A few other baseball notes:
• Alonzo Powell, the Mariners’ hitting coach from early May through the end of the season, has moved to Peoria and is working with several young hitters who’ve already begun their offseason work. Among them is Mariners left fielder Michael Saunders, who is working with Powell on gaining more consistency in his swing, particularly with the lower half of his body. Saunders will leave Nov. 17 and play about a month with Lara in the Venezuelan Winter League.
As for Powell’s future, he said he doesn’t know what his next job will be.
• Dave Hansen, who played with the Mariners in 2004 and 2005, has interviewed with new Mariners manager Eric Wedge for the Seattle hitting coach job, according to the Arizona Republic. Hansen has been the Diamondbacks’ minor league hitting coordinator.
Milt Thompson, the Phillies’ former hitting coach, also reportedly has interviewed with Wedge. The Mariners were hoping to have Wedge’s staff set by the middle of this week.
• Cliff Lee says he loved playing for the Rangers and had a good time with a bunch of good guys, but after Monday night’s World Series loss Lee didn’t sound like he’d be offering up much – if any – of a good ol’ boy discount now that he’s a free agent. Here’s a transcript of what Lee said from the Dallas Morning News.