Tonight is Dustin Ackley bobblehead night at Safeco Field. However, Ackley isn’t playing. Manager Eric Wedge said he’s resting his second baseman, even though the Angels are throwing a right-hander.
Which is just plain stupid.
Ackley should be playing tonight regardless of the bobblehead matter. He’s a left-handed hitter who has hit righties far better than southpaws, so there’s certainly no good reason to rest him. He’s even 4-for-13 with a triple and a couple of RBI against Angels starter Ervin Santana, which is better than most of his teammates.
So those are the baseball reasons to put him in the lineup.
And there’s the other stuff, the stuff that a manager really shouldn’t think about when putting together a lineup, but that many of them would anyway, simply because they’re human.
I’m sure there are a whole bunch of 8- and 10-year-old kids out there whose favorite player is Dustin Ackley. Some of them live in Tacoma, Yakima, Vancouver or wherever and probably get to go to one or two games per year. This is the game their mom and/or dad took them to so that they could see their idol and get his bobblehead. And because Eric Wedge is a doodie head, they’re going to be half-disappointed.
Bob Nightengale of USA TODAY reports that the Mariners have received “strong” trade interest for starter Taijuan Walker. The right-hander is currently on the mend from tendinitis in his right foot. He’ll throw a bullpen on Friday at Wrigley Field with scouts in attendance.
Walker, 23, has a 3.66 ERA with an 80/18 K/BB ratio in 86 innings this season. It’s his first bit of sustained success at the major league level. What’s arguably just as intriguing is the fact that Walker will be under team control through 2020.
The Mariners have been hovering around .500 for the last month and entered Thursday six games behind the first-place Rangers in the AL West and 4.5 games out of the second AL Wild Card slot, behind three other teams as well as the two Wild Card leaders. It’s enough uncertainty which could push the Mariners to sell.
On Monday, we learned that the Mets offered to swap catchers with the Brewers, Travis d'Arnaud for Jonathan Lucroy. The Brewers, as expected, turned that down. The two still continue to discuss a trade involving Lucroy, Ken Rosenthal of FOX Sports reports.
The Mets certainly could use some help at catcher. The club has gotten an aggregate .608 OPS from their backstops, the fourth-lowest mark in baseball, ahead of only the Pirates, Rays, and Indians. However, the Mets seem to be behind other teams — including a “mystery” team — in the bidding, according to Jon Heyman of Today’s Knuckleball.
Lucroy, who took Thursday off, is batting .300/.361/.486 with 13 home runs and 50 RBI in 371 plate appearances for the Brewers this season. He can become a free agent after the season if his controlling club opts against picking up his $5.25 million option for the 2017 season.