{}
CLOSE

Now Commenting On:

{"event":["spring_training" ] }

McClendon plans to go with Ackley in left field

|
McClendon plans to go with Ackley in left field play video for McClendon plans to go with Ackley in left field

PEORIA, Ariz. -- Lloyd McClendon doesn't mince words once he has his mind set on something.

So while the new skipper is just getting to know his new personnel with the Mariners, he's not shy to share his thoughts once he's ready. When asked Friday whether Dustin Ackley was in the hunt for the center field job, McClendon replied:

"I doubt it. He'll probably be in left field the majority of time."

Why is he best suited for left field?

"Because that's where I want him," said McClendon.

The decision most likely has to do with Ackley's throwing arm, which isn't his strong suit. He did start 46 games in center last year after transitioning from second base at midseason. The feeling then was to put Ackley where he was most comfortable.

But with time now in Spring Training to work more on the outfield, his immediate future appears to be in left, where he started eight games in 2013.

McClendon likes Corey Hart in right field, assuming he can stay healthy coming off his pair of microfracture knee surgeries. He indicated Logan Morrison would get some work in left and right field later in camp, though he's currently spending time only at first base coming off some knee issues of his own.

As for center? The skipper noted that Michael Saunders, Abraham Almonte and Stefen Romero are capable of playing all three outfield positions, as can veterans Willie Bloomquist and Endy Chavez. Saunders and Almonte are the leading contenders there, though McClendon didn't list any pecking order.

He did mention young Xavier Avery, acquired last August from the Orioles in the Michael Morse trade, as another contender along with Romero, who offers a needed right-handed bat. Hart and Bloomquist are the only other right-handed hitters in that group, while Almonte is a switch-hitter.

When the team lined up for popup drills Friday, the outfield on the main field consisted of Ackley and Avery in left, Saunders and Almonte in center and Hart in right.

Greg Johns is a reporter for MLB.com. Follow him on Twitter @GregJohnsMLB as well as his Mariners Musings blog. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.

{"event":["spring_training" ] }
{"event":["spring_training" ] }
Boys and Girls Club of America

©2014 MLBAM, LP. All rights reserved.

The following are trademarks or service marks of Major League Baseball entities and may be used only with permission of Major League Baseball Properties, Inc. or the relevant Major League Baseball entity: Major League, Major League Baseball, MLB, the silhouetted batter logo, World Series, National League, American League, Division Series, League Championship Series, All-Star Game, and the names, nicknames, logos, uniform designs, color combinations, and slogans designating the Major League Baseball clubs and entities, and their respective mascots, events and exhibitions. Use of the Website signifies your agreement to the Terms of Use and Privacy Policy (updated May 24, 2013).

View MLB.com in English | En Español