Sophomore slumps and rookie riots

With the Mariners currently in fourth place in the American League West division, people have started to have a few questions on their mind as to why we have started so slow again. One such question is, “Since we have strong rookies in our minor league system, should the struggling rookies like Dustin Ackley and Jesus Montero be sent back down to the Minor leagues to improve?” This is only one idea some have about how to improve this struggling ball club. Yet it is one of the few that have actually been put into action. Recently, the Seattle Mariners have optioned second basemen Dustin Ackley, designated hitter and catcher Jesus Montero and starting pitcher Brandon Maurer to the Tacoma Rainiers. They then brought up rookie infielder Nick Franklin, veteran starting pitcher Jeremy Bonderman and catcher Jesus Sucre.

At the beginning of this year, Mariner fans were all around excited to see how prospects Dustin Ackley and Jesus Montero would perform. Both have recently finished their first full Major League Baseball season, and with the rookie jitters out of the way, people expected both to be catalysts on the team to lead the Mariners to victory with stars Felix Hernandez, Tom Wilhelmsen and Michael Morse. Instead we got two hitters that held the team back. Ackley started off the year batting less than .100 before starting to hit a bit better as the season went on. Montero was not producing good results as a hitter and was one of the worst defensive catchers in MLB. Maurer had a couple decent outings over the first few months, but mostly had bad starts. He was thought to be incredibly irreliable and inconsistent. All of these players need more work before they can be true major leaguers.

Now we have some new hope in the players being recalled from the Tacoma Rainiers: Nick Franklin, Jeremy Bonderman and Jesus Sucre. Nick Franklin has been in the Mariner’s organization for a number of years and has been itching for his chance to make it to the show. He has made the most of his time so far in the majors with already getting his first hit, first homer and has already made an immediate impact on the team. Jeremy Bonderman hasn’t pitched in the Major leagues since 2010 because of multiple injuries; he is now getting his chance to return. In his first start, he did not perform well giving up seven runs in 4.2 innings of work. Jesus Sucre is a rookie catcher who is known for his great defense. Only time will tell if adding defense to the catcher position will translate to giving up less runs.

With this major shake-up in the Mariners roster, Seattleites can only hope this will jump the team out of fourth and up into first.