Shortstop Nick Franklin called up by Mariners

USA TODAY Sports

The middle infielder is receiving his first promotion to the major league level.

The Seattle Mariners have called up top prospect Nick Franklin from Triple-A Tacoma, beat writer Ryan Divish of the Tacoma News Tribune is reporting.

The Mariners drafted Franklin out of high school with the No. 27 overall pick in 2009. Franklin has steadily risen through the Mariners farm system, and is considered one of the Mariners top prospects. John Sickels of Minorleagueball.com ranked Franklin as the 5th best prospect in the Seattle farm system and the 40th best prospect in the entirety of baseball.

Franklin struggled at Triple-A last season, but has shown improvement at the plate this season, hitting .324/.440/.472 in 177 plate appearances.

The rookie is not considered a strong defender, but can play both middle infield positions. Seattle recently promoted less heralded prospect Carlos Triunfel to the majors, who can also play both middle infield positions.

Seattle will need to make some moves to clear space for Franklin, as the infielder needs to be added to the team's 25-man roster and 40-man roster. There Mariners could place Justin Smoak on the 15-day disabled list, as the first baseman missed Sunday's game with a tight right oblique muscle.

The Mariners could also option struggling second baseman Dustin Ackley to Triple-A. Ackley has looked lost at the plate this season, hitting .205/.266/.250 in 171 plate appearances. Divish is also reporting that Ackely's locker is empty, making his demotion feel like an inevitability.

Update: The Mariners have officially demoted Ackley to Triple-A Tacoma, Ryan Divish is reporting. The team will stay have to make a 40-man roster move for make space for Franklin.

Seattle also promoted pitcher Hector Noesi from Triple-A, optioning left-handed pitcher Lucas Luetge in a corresponding move. Noesi was scheduled to start for Tacoma today, but the team scratched him from the start.

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