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.

The first native Lithuanian in MLB history made his debut last night

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Why yes, it is a slow news day. But let’s not allow that to take away from some MLB history.

Last night a young man named Dovydas Neverauskas pitched in mopup duty for the Pirates, who were getting hammered by the Cubs. Mr. Neverauskas pitched two innings, allowing one run, making him, by default, the most effective pitcher the Pirates sent out there last night.

That’s good, but that’s not what makes it historic. What makes it historic is that Neverauskas is the first person born and raised in Lithuania to make the Majors. Here’s some back story on him from last year’s Futures Game.

Lithuania is known for producing basketball players. Now it has its first major leaguer. Whether he becomes baseball’s Arvydas Sabonis is an open question.

Bumgarner: dirt bike adventure was “definitely not the most responsible decision”

MLB.com
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Madison Bumgarner talked to the press yesterday about his dirt bike injury and its fallout.

While there is some speculation that the Giants may change their approach to Bumgarner’s contract situation at some point as a result of all of this, yesterday Bumgarner noted that the organization has been supportive as have his teammates. He said he apologized to them as well for an act he characterized as “definitely not the most responsible decision.”

As for the wreck itself, Bumgarner was a bit embarrassed to say that it wasn’t the result of doing anything cool or spectacular on the bike. Sounds like he probably just laid the thing down. Guess it makes no real difference given that he’s injured either way, but you’d hope to at least get a cool story out of it. Alas.

Here’s video of him talking to the press. The best and most accurate takeaway from it: when he says “it sucks.” Yep.