Dustin Ackley needs to join Justin Smoak in the minors

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Another day, another hitless game for Dustin Ackley in Seattle’s 5-2 loss to the Yankees.

Ackley is 0-for-21 in his last five games and 1-for-30 in his last seven. For the month, he’s hitting .135 in 74 at-bats. His overall average is down to .220. A demotion is most definitely warranted.

If the Mariners had someone worth replacing him with, there’s a good chance it already would have happened. Maybe they do, though. Longtime prospect Carlos Triunfel is showing signs of life while hitting .288/.329/.493 with three homers and 16 RBI in 73 at-bats for Triple-A Tacoma this month. He’s still playing shortstop most of the time, but he has started 10 games at second base this season. He doesn’t figure to be a long-term option at shortstop anyway, so taking him off the position to give him a look in the majors wouldn’t hurt.

Of course, it’s not all that likely that Triunfel is ready to succeed in the majors. Nick Franklin probably isn’t either. The more highly regarded prospect of the two, he’s batted .252/.326/.425 while splitting time evenly at second base and shortstop in 30 games since his promotion to Triple-A. It’s unlikely the Mariners would risk promoting him given that they’d have a lot more to lose by rushing him and wrecking his confidence.

But Ackley needs to go, even if it’s just for three weeks. Being a bad player on a bad team can’t be doing him much good.

Padres, Mariners join list of teams to extend netting

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The Reds announced earlier that they plan to extend the protective netting at Great American Ball Park in time for Opening Day next season. You can add the Padres and Mariners to what will surely be a growing list.

A young fan was struck in the face by a foul ball at Yankee Stadium on Wednesday, which gave new life to the netting debate. Some fans and media types think Major League Baseball is not doing enough to protect fans. While Major League Baseball has issued guidelines for protective netting, it is ultimately up to the teams to decide just how much netting to use.

Zach Britton receives stem cell injection, likely done for the season

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Orioles closer Zach Britton is likely done for the remainder of the 2017 season after receiving a stem cell injection in his left knee, Peter Schmuck and Jon Meoli of the Baltimore Sun report. Britton has been battling knee problems for most of the season.

The Orioles are still technically in the AL Wild Card race, entering play Thursday 5.5 games behind the Twins for the second Wild Card slot. With only nine games remaining, however, the 73-80 Orioles are likely being realistic about their chances and not taking any unnecessary risks with Britton.

Britton, 29, put up a 2.89 ERA with 15 saves and a 29/18 K/BB ratio in 37 1/3 innings this season. He will be eligible for arbitration for the fourth and final time this offseason.