May 17th: Mariners could soon give Dustin Ackley a shot;
June 14th: Mariners on the verge of calling up Dustin Ackley;
Today: he’s up, called up from Tacoma.
Ackley was hitting .300 and getting on base at a .418 clip through 326 plate appearances, and adding some power (.487 SLG) to boot. His not being promoted before now was almost certainly a function of Super Two calculation, but you’ll have that. He should likely be plugged right in the Mariners’ lineup, giving it a bit of OBP and doubles power that it sorely lacks at the moment.
This likely means that some combination of Adam Kennedy, Jack Wilson and Chone Figgins will either be gone soon or will see reduced playing time. But it’s not like that’s a bad thing.
Nick Cafardo of the Boston Globe reports that the Nationals will ask to speak with Astros’ bench coach Alex Cora after the American League Championship Series concludes on Saturday. This comes on the heels of the news that club manager Dusty Baker will not be returning to the team in 2018.
Cora, 42, has some experience in the Nationals’ organization. He played for the Nats during his last big league stint in 2011, batting .224/.287/.276 through 91 games before announcing his retirement in the spring of 2012. Per Cafardo, he was also offered a player development gig with the club, but has not appeared in any kind of official role with them since his days as a major league infielder. While he’s been lauded for his leadership skills and strong clubhouse presence, he hasn’t acquired any managerial experience since his retirement, save for a handful of games with the Astros where he filled in for A.J. Hinch.
Despite the appeal of having a familiar face in the dugout, the Nationals aren’t the only ones eyeing Cora. The Astros’ coach has already interviewed with the Tigers, Mets and Red Sox this month. Boston appears to be the current favorite to land him and according to at least one source, may even announce his hiring in advance of the World Series next Tuesday.