Ackley’s home run swing plus news and notes
Some news, notes and an interesting story.
We are in the 6th inning here of what has been a frustrating ball game so far. It looks like Michael Pineda is done for the night. He looked clearly frustrated in the dugout after the 5th traveling from one end to the other. Carl Willis sat down next to him and had a few words and then Miguel Olivo came by and actually knelt on one knee while he talked to him for about a minute. Tough outing. I wonder if it will influence whether or not he is invited to the All Star Game. Looked like a bad call in the 3rd that cost him four of the runs.
I reported a couple of days ago that Pineda has been told to be ready for a possible invitation. When the selected starters make their starts tomorrow they will be eliminated and substitutes will be announced. If he does get the nod then he most likely will be pushed to the fifth start after the break for the Mariners.
On that note…It appears that Erik Bedard will miss at least one start coming out of the rotation so Blake Beavan will be with the team for a little longer. I spoke to Bedard briefly about his knee and he said that it was something similar to what he suffered when he was in Baltimore. He most likely will have to wear a brace on the knee for the rest of the season when he pitches.
On to the story…
Dustin Ackley’s college coach Mike Fox was in town this week for Kyle Seager’s debut. I did an interview with him for the post game show then chatted with him after. I asked where he thought Ackley’s best position in a lineup was and he said he could take on just about any role. He then told me that while Dustin (or Dusty as he called him) hit primarily leadoff for him his first two years but in his junior year he lost a few players and needed him to hit third. He adapted and his slugging percentage jumped from .597 to .763.
I asked Dustin about this and he laughed and said that it was more a function of experience and playing on different home field those two years rather than him changing his approach. He did say something interesting though.
“My mindset when I get up there is I want to hit a home run on every pitch.”
He actually said that twice. I thought I must have heard him wrong the first time because just about every hitter I have ever talked to has said that they don’t try to hit home runs, they just come.
Well no. Ackley is trying to hit them. At least that is his mindset.
“I think it gets me ready to hit,” he told me. “Like not trying to check swings and doing all of these other things. It gets me locked in like no other way. I know it probably doesn’t look like it, but that is my mindset.”
How and when did this come about? He really isn’t sure.
“I’ve never been a home run hitter but I have always liked to,” he explained, “like in BP. I guess it’s just when I was in BP and I was able to hit home runs it was something I liked to do and carried it into games.”