Talked to Jack Wilson today, who said this has been perhaps the toughest spring of his career because he's had to try to learn playing a new position - second base.
For most of the exhibition schedule, new manager Eric Wedge has used Wilson at shortstop or second base, flip-flopping him with infieldr Brendan Ryan, who has played both positions. There have been others at short this spring - Luis Rodriguez, Sean Kazmar, Josh Wilson - but none are likely to make the opening day roster.
The job belongs to either Wilson or Ryan, with the man who doesn't play shortstop moving to second base.
"They've told us that today or tomorrow, they'll make that decision," Wilson said.
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Wilson came to camp lighter by 10 pounds over 2010, with his legs in great shape, and has played well both in the field and at the plate - hitting .500 before today's game. He's making plays he didn't make a year ago, and even leads the team with three stolen bases.
"I was save yesterday when they called me out," Wilson said. "I should have four stolen bases. That's more than I've had the last couple of years during the regular season.
"When I came to camp, my legs felt so good it made everything go - fielding, throwing, hitting, running. I went to (coach) Mike Brumley, to Chone Figgins, Adam Kennedy, just to talk to them about base stealing. Each of them has a different approach. I feel best when I get into my fielding position, that's where I feel the most explosive, so I'm doing that."
Second base? Wilson has tried to adjust, saying he's a Mariner first, a shortstop second. Clearly, Ryan is more comfortable there - but then Ryan seems equally comfortable at shortstop.
Who wins the job? On merit, probably Wilson. And there could be an ulterior motive.
In the last year of a contract with the Mariners, Wilson playing well at shortstop - hitting would be a bonus - might make him an attractive trade piece in mid-season. Move him to second base, a position he's never played, and that value decreases.
In that scenario, once Wilson is traded, Ryan moves to shortstop and rookie Dustin Ackley comes up and the Mariners could have the infield they'd like to see.
Just how Wedge and general manager Jack Zduriencik see it could be completely different, and they may like something they've seen in Ryan's defense that would make him a better option. Either way, the issue should be resolved in the next 24 hours.
Then all you have to worry about his the starting rotation, the bullpen, left field ...