This move comes from a series of events that have occurred for the Mariners over the 2013 season.
First, Franklin Gutierrez landed on the designated list again, further showing that he could not be relied on as a full-time player for the Mariners.
Second, Michael Saunders followed up a strong first month by batting 27-141 (.191) over the months of May and June.
Finally, Ackley's struggles at the plate led to his demotion to Triple-A Tacoma in favor of prospect Nick Franklin. Ever since arriving on the scene in Seattle, Franklin has been very impressive batting .280/.365/.480 with three home runs and six RBI while holding his own at second base.
With Franklin entrenching himself into the every day second baseman role at the major league level, Dustin Ackley has been ripping Triple-A Tacoma apart. Since being sent down, Ackley is batting .400 with two home runs and 12 RBI in 20 games, and has rediscovered the confidence that went missing in Seattle.
With that in mind, the organization was faced with the question of how to include both of them in the lineup when Ackley returns from Tacoma. With the Mariners lack of outfield depth in the organization, the Mariners decided the best way to do this was to start giving Ackley reps in the outfield down in Tacoma. Ackley isn't a stranger to the outfield, as he played there early in his collegiate career with North Carolina before being moved to first base following Tommy John surgery.
With Franklin Gutierrez rehabbing in Tacoma as well, it would not be a surprise to see him and Ackley recalled at the same time to provide the Mariners with an offensive boost moving forward. However, with Guti's documented health issues, it would be silly for the Mariners to expect him to come back and be the every day center fielder. With that in mind, the Mariners should use Guti sparingly on the corners, while allowing Ackley to get as much time in center as possible.