Seattle Mariners batting order news might catch fans by surprise today (July 29). The Mariners’ batting order will now have Dustin Ackley as the leadoff hitter and rookie shortstop Chris Taylor hitting second. According to a report from MLB.com, James Jones will move to the No. 9 slot in the new order. It's an interesting strategy by manager Lloyd McClendon as he tries to find some offense with his roster. Hisashi Iwakuma will take the mound in Game 1 of this series against the Cleveland Indians.
Ackley has posted a batting average of .375 during the month of July and that ranks him among the best in the American League. It has been a nice hot streak that the team has noticed and which fans have been very happy to see from the former No. 2 overall selection. He might finally have found the hitting stroke that the Mariners saw in him while he was having success at the University of North Carolina. It would also help the offense a lot down the stretch if he could continue this hot streak.
In the latest 2014 MLB standings, the Mariners hold a 54-51 record that has them in third place in the American League West. The team has really fallen out of contention for a division title, especially with how well the Oakland Athletics are playing, and now is simply battling for one of the wild card slots. The team now has to worry more about the New York Yankees and the Toronto Blue Jays, as those are the two teams neck-and-neck with them when it comes to the second wild card slot.
Having Dustin Ackley leadoff the new Seattle Mariners batting order might be a risky move simply because it puts added pressure on him at the plate. It could also turn into a genius move if it turns out that he really has figured out something at the plate and he can continue putting up these great July numbers. As for Jones, the hope is that he too can figure something out at the bottom of the order, because he has been struggling worse than nearly everyone on the roster in recent weeks.