NEW YORK – No one is certain whether Seattle Mariners shortstop Brendan Ryan has hit bottom this season, batting .149, but one thing became clear Saturday – he has about reached the end of his manager’s patience.
Eric Wedge has tried moving Ryan down and then up in the batting order, putting him second in hopes of getting him more fastballs, ninth to take pressure off.
On Saturday, Wedge sat Ryan.
“He needs a day,” Wedge said. “I need a day.”
In manager-speak, read that as abject frustration.
“Is there a level he has to reach to stay in the lineup?” Wedge asked, repeating a question. “You just can’t be an out up there. There’s no reason he shouldn’t be better.
“He’s not 25, he’s 30 years old and it’s time he figured out what he needs to do to be successful.”
What is Ryan doing wrong?
“He’s swimming in his own brain,” Wedge said. “He’s not giving himself a chance. He’s pulling off the ball, not seeing it well …”
And the team is close to the end of its patience. On Saturday, Munenori Kawasaki started at shortstop.
“We’ll see,” Wedge said.
ON THE JOB TRAINING
Jesus Montero will be behind the plate today when Kevin Millwood starts for Seattle, and the team is hoping it goes better than the last time that tandem worked together.
Veteran Millwood essentially calls his own game, and last time out both he and Montero were clearly frustrated that the process wasn’t going smoother.
“Jesus and Kevin talked right after that game, and I think Montero can learn quite a bit catching him,” Wedge said. “He has to call his game, but he can get a pretty good feel from Millwood.
“All catchers have to work with pitchers, with what they see and feel back there. There are so many different variables to catching, so much responsibility – hitting is a distant second.”
Outfielder Franklin Gutierrez update: “He’s not doing much because of the heel,” Wedge said. “That’s disappointing, to say the least.” There’s no date for Gutierrez even to begin a minor league rehab assignment. … A day after playing catch, Blake Beavan had no ill effects and threw a bullpen session in preparation for his next start Tuesday. The right elbow struck by a Miguel Cabrera line drive last week remains slightly swollen. … Ichiro Suzuki’s fourth-inning single tied him with Frank Thomas for 99th place all-time with 2,468 hits. Next target? Joe Medwick at 2,471. … The Yankees had Yogi Berra at the game to celebrate his 87th birthday, and he circled the warning track in a golf cart to cheers.
Seattle concludes its series in New York with a 10:05 a.m. (PDT) game on Root Sports. Probable starting pitchers: Kevin Millwood (0-4, 5.88 ERA) vs. Andy Pettitte (2012 debut).firstname.lastname@example.org blog.thenewstribune.com/mariners Twitter: @LarryLaRue