SEATTLE -- The season may not have statistically shaped up to be what Mariners second baseman Dustin Ackley expected, but he believes 2012 will end up being one of the more important years in his career, and he's happy with the way it's gone. While the .231 average and 114 strikeouts aren't numbers to be proud of, Ackley said what he's learned in his first full season is valuable to improving as a player. "It's tough," Ackley said. "Trying to figure a swing out on the fly at the big league level is not a easy thing. There's no off nights. Right when you might think you're feeling great or whatever, you're out there facing a top pitcher in the league, or something, and you get back to your old habits again. It's extremely tough. You would like to be making your adjustments in the offseason or Spring Training.
"Unfortunately for me, it was during the season, but I think that's something that's also going to be a big thing for me going forward. Just kind of learning myself and learning how to deal with big struggles at this level." As he moves into the offseason, Ackley will continue to improve on his strength, as well as what he's been focusing on offensively for the past couple weeks. The young second baseman will also work on his speed, as he tries to become more of a threat on the basepaths.