Having exercised patience and options, M’s should discard Ackley

May 18, 2015, 10:05 AM | Updated: 10:57 am
Mariners outfielder Dustin Ackley is hitting .189 with only seven extra-base hits in 33 games this ...
Mariners outfielder Dustin Ackley is hitting .189 with only seven extra-base hits in 33 games this season. (AP)

This isn’t about what Dustin Ackley was supposed to be.

Not anymore.

It’s not about what the No. 2 overall pick in the 2009 draft still could be, either, though the July he had last season when he hit .365 remains a vicious tease.

Moore: Time for Mariners to move on from Dustin Ackley

This is about what Dustin Ackley is right now, an outfielder with diminished range who is hitting below .200 for the second consecutive month. It’s not as bad as he started last season. Actually, it is significantly worse, which is the reason Ackley is now like an old couch you just need to get rid of. Post it on Craigslist for $10, hand it down to someone’s kid who’s going off to college, and if that doesn’t work, call a friend over to help you haul it out to the curb and put a sign on it that reads, “FREE.”

In five of the past eight months that Ackley has played for the Mariners, he has hit at what could best be described as below-replacement level. Translated: a Triple-A call-up or unsigned Major League free agent would be expected to hit better than Ackley has so far.

It’s time for Seattle to move on now that Austin Jackson is eligible to come off the disabled list, Brad Miller is seeing time in left field and Justin Ruggiano deserves more playing time than he’s currently getting.

The Mariners have exercised patience. They have changed Ackley’s position. They have given him every opportunity first to become the star the team expected and then to become a functional piece of the lineup.

And over the past two seasons, what Seattle has gotten is one exceptional July in which he hit like the batting champ he was supposed to be, an August with six home runs and then a whole bunch of groundouts to the second baseman.

There was a time that you could talk yourself into the idea that Ackley had turned the corner. That time was as recently as April when he hit safely in his first five games with three home runs. You could be forgiven for believing that while Ackley would not be the perennial All-Star that Seattle hoped for, at least he could be an average Major League outfielder.

There’s nothing since then that would lead you to believe that. After four extra-base hits in the first five games, he’s totaled three in the 28 games since.

It’s not about how much you paid for the couch. Or how you were told it was going to be perfect for your living room. This is about the reality that the couch was never that comfortable to sit in. Not for long stretches of time anyway.

You’ve even moved it to see if it could be functional elsewhere. Now it’s time to get what you can or give up on it.

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Having exercised patience and options, M’s should discard Ackley