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Welcome To Seattle, Dustin Ackley

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As a fan, it's probably pretty exciting that the Mariners keep making transactions at 10pm after their games are finished, but as a writer, God damn is this timing ever inconvenient. Dustin Ackley's promotion interrupted my Greek salad. Not only did that mean I had to hurry through my Greek salad, but now for the rest of Ackley's career I'm going to associate him with Greek salad, long after I've forgotten why.

Anyway, as you've heard, the Mariners have made the long-awaited move of bringing Ackley up from Tacoma and optioning Luis Rodriguez. We've known this move was coming for a while, and the only question was whether it would be Rodriguez, Jack Wilson, or Carlos Peguero going away to make room. Rodriguez wins, by which I mean Rodriguez loses, because Peguero has hit the ball a little bit, and Wilson is a capable defensive 2B/SS who may still generate trade interest. As fond as I've been of Rodriguez and as useful as I think he can be, there's no arguing that he no longer has a place on this current roster.

So, Ackley. There are three things I find funny about the specific timing of his promotion:

(1) Ackley was promoted on the same night that he snapped his personal 36-game errorless streak

(2) Ackley was promoted just in time to face the Philadelphia Phillies, who own baseball's most terrifying pitching staff

(3) Ackley was promoted on Jeremy Reed's 30th birthday

But that's all color. What matters is that he's up, and that he offers an instant improvement to this baseball team. Suddenly it doesn't look like a coincidence that Adam Kennedy was taking balls at third earlier this afternoon; Kennedy's going to get more action over there at the expense of Chone Figgins, because Dustin Ackley's taking hold of second base. I doubt he'll play every day, but he'll play most days.

What should we expect from Ackley? We should expect reasonable things, but we should also expect good things. Ackley went 2-for-4 earlier today to lift his average to .303. He drew 55 walks, against 38 strikeouts. He slugged .487. The Jeremy Reed reference is a chilling one, but Jeremy Reed never did what Dustin Ackley did in AAA. Ackley was finished with the minors, with nothing left to learn, and he brings a polished, Major League-ready bat. Throw in acceptable defense and you've got a heck of an addition.

A little bit of the glee is taken out of this just because we've been expecting it and waiting for it for so long. It isn't like a free agent signing or a trade, where the news breaks out of nowhere. We knew Ackley was coming, and it was only a matter of when. But still, his arrival is something to celebrate. For more reasons than I can lay out.

Dustin Ackley's going to make his Mariners debut this Friday. He's making it at home, for a 35-34 ballclub in the thick of the playoff race. I don't know where he's going to bat, but I love that I get to wonder.

It's on, now.