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That Magical Time of Year...

By Brian Ailor

Finally the moment you've all been waiting for.. No, not my long awaited return to Mariners blogging, but the MLB June call ups! This marks the time of the season where teams call up the star prospects and dump the struggling batters and pitchers, while at the same time avoiding arbitration for an extra year.

For those who don't know.. Arbitration is a system in which salaries are reviewed and adjusted to mirror those of equal players. David Aardsma is a great example of this. His salary tripled this off season due to arbitration rewarding him the average salary of the MLB closer. Because of this teams like to manipulate the service time of a prospect to push back arbitration an extra year. Thus causing the June call ups.

Sadly.. Or in some cases not that sadly *coughs Milton Bradley* to make room on the roster, you must demote of release struggling veterans. We've seen this already this year with the M's designating for assignment (fancy way of saying releasing with pay) both Milton Bradley and Ryan Lanerhans, who this year made 12 million and $525,000 respectfully. That's a lot of money for Mariners' management to eat. Give credit to Jack Zduriencik to have the courage to pull the trigger early enough in the season to make room for young outfielders Carlos Paguero and Greg Halman to grow.

It's not hard to see that youngster Carlos Paguero possesses nearly unlimited power from the left side of the plate. This is key since Safco Field was built for said power in plans for Ken Griffey JR. If Paguero learns to simply put the ball in play more and not strike out as much he could become a very solid piece to build around in the near future.

I would catalog 1 game as being a small sample size, but that being said, who doesn't like what they saw out to Greg Halman?? The guy went 3 for 4, with a triple, and 2 RBI in his first game this year. I would think the Mariners going forward would platoon him with Carlos Paguero in left field, making an exciting duo with Paguero getting the at bats against right handed pitchers and Halman the lefties.

With the release of Milton Bradley causing the roster spot for Carlos Paguero and Ryan Langerhans, with the help of struggling Michael Saunders, creating the spot for Greg Halman. We must ask ourselves.. Who's spot will stud prospect Dustin Ackley take? Dustin Ackley in 57 games in AAA Tacoma is hitting .291, with 68 hits, and 7 homers. In my opinion there are two ways to go about this...

The first is highly difficult since it requires a dance partner to accomplish.. First of all, I don't know if I speak for the rest of you, but I know I have seen enough of Chone Figgins in a Mariners' uniform. Our speedy corner infielder is sporting a measly .186 average with a .225 on base percentage. Please correct me if I'm wrong but if speed is your best skill... then don't you need to get on base every now and again to use it??? If it was up to me I would send now 5th string outfielder Mike Wilson down to AAA and call up Dustin Ackley today. Then between now and the July 31st trade deadline take anything I could possibly get for Chone Figgins.

Baring an injury to a contending team, I don't see how the M's could make a deal involving the struggling former all star without having to pay the majority of his 17 million dollars still owed to him over the next two years.

The easier route to get Dustin Ackley to the majors would be to simply release Jack Wilson. Wilson is in the final year of his contract making 5 million dollars. It is highly unlikely that another team would make a deal for this shortstop turned second baseman who can't hit much to speak of. Releasing him makes an obvious opening for Ackley to share the second base duties with veteran Adam Kennedy.

The sudden change of scenery with all the young talent and winning team is making this season very exciting for M's fans. With Justin Smoak, Felix Hernandez, and Michael Pineda leading the way, the future for this Seattle Mariners team look very promising.

1 comment:

  1. Hey man,

    How come you never change your home page scroll? Its all old news and old photos, and it may help to entice more readers if it were current, even if there is a small amount of info. Like your blog however. I've actually turned some pals onto it. Any word on if you'll do this?

    ReplyDelete