Update 11:57 AM: It looks like Francisco Martinez has been DFA’d to make room the 40 man roster for Franklin. Presuming Martinez clears waivers the team may outright him to the minors and retain his services, just not on the 40 man roster. If a team claims him they’ll be required to keep Martinez on their 40 man roster.
I’ve been pretty bullish on Martinez’s potential, but he hasn’t developed power that some expected, and his contact skills have eroded considerably, to the point where even adequate defense in center field — a premium defensive position — can’t hide his deficiencies at the plate.
10:35 AM: If you follow Ryan Divish on Twitter then perhaps the particulars of the Nick Franklin call up are no mystery:
So there. The Franklin era begins and it appears that the Dustin Ackley era is on hold for now (Lucas Luetge will also be headed to Tacoma). Hector Noesi also, once again, exists in your consciousness. What this all means for the long-term future of the team is unclear but they are very willing to shake things up right now.
Last week we saw the Mariners send down Jesus Montero with eyes on a position change. While Ackley has quickly become a very good second baseman based on all contemporary metrics, there’s always the chance that the team has eyes on him in center or left field. There’s a chance that the team wants to see if Franklin can hack it at shortstop to aid their decision going into next season as it relates to Brendan Ryan and the starting shortstop position.
Either way, Ackley hasn’t produced at the plate at it is clear that the team cares, and is concerned about him. He’s got problems with being too patient, and when you have Adam Dunn‘s batting eye without his power, your occasional positive outcome is worth a lot less. Ackley lets a lot of strikes go by, and hasn’t learned yet that lefties are victim to a more strict strikezone.
That said, Franklin is really bad against lefties and Carlos Triunfel, who was called up as part of the Montero demotion and Andino DFA, is only really good against lefties. Seeing them on the field together would seem to indication that either Kyle Seager or Ryan are hurt.
Whether Franklin sticks at shortstop is also a real concern. He gained a whole bunch of weight this offseason, and he was a borderline shortstop as it was. If he sticks at shortstop though, there will be no re-evaluation needed for his No. 4 prospect ranking I gave him earlier this offseason based on the idea that he’s at least nominally still a shortstop.