Mariners manager Eric Wedge finally made the lineup move everyone wanted to see - well sort of. Wedge dropped Chone Figgins to eighth in the batting order and moved Brendan Ryan up to second. A lot of people wanted Figgins dropped to ninth in the order, but the Michael Saunders, who has his own hitting issues, in the lineup today, Figgins was moved to eighth.
Unlike last year where Figgins was visibly upset and bitter about being dropped to ninth, he seemed relatively at peace with this decision.
"I've been through stuff like this before," he said. "I've been moved in the lineup to different places. My mindset is not going to change. I'm still going to go out and do the same thing I do all the time, which is play defense and create havoc. So it's not really going to change anything because I'm hitting eighth."
Wedge said that Figgins handled the news with grace. No tantrums or pouting.
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"He’s a pro," Wedge said. "He’s handled everything well. We had a good conversation the other day, and another good conversation this morning. I didn’t want to have that conversation. You don’t ever want have to have that conversation, but ultimately I feel like it’s the best ting to for him right now, I feel it’s the best thing to do for our team now. Ultimately, I think it’s going to come back to him and our team."
Figgins has 2 hits in his last 36 at-bats and his batting average dropped to .193, and yet the Mariners are winning in spite of that. And the winning made it a little more tolerable for Figgins to be dropped into the order.
"I never like being moved down, that's never going to change," he said chuckling. "But we are doing pretty good. But to keep the flow of the team going the way we are going, it's ok, because we are winning."
Still Figgins would like to contribute.
"For me it's still hard, because I want to win too and I want to help the team a lot more than what I've been doing," he said.
Brendan Ryan didn't even know he had been moved to the second spot in the order.
"To be honest, I didn't even know I was hitting second until you just told me," he said.
But he should have expected it with the way he's hitting right now. Over the last 18 games, Ryan is hitting .424 (25-for-59) with a .478 on-base percentage and a .542 slugging percentage. He's struck out just five times.
"He's an energy player, he brings some energy to the top of our lineup that I think was needed," Wedge said. "There's a number of different reasons you make that move."
But Wedge doesn't want Ryan to do anything different from what he's been doing at the bottom of the order.
"I don't want him to do anything differently," Wedge said. "There's nothing I need to say to him. The coaches were there to have conversations with him. The only thing he needs to understand is don't change a thing. He's just hitting in a different spot in the order."
Ryan knows how to hit in the No. 2 spot. He started 32 games in his career at that spot in his career.
"I'm not going go into say have an Oakland A's approach and try and see 11 pitches," Ryan said. "I'm going to look for a good pitch to hit, whether it's first or last one, and try and put a good swing on it. Its not very profound. But that's what the goal should be. Obviously the situation will dictate how aggressive you can be. Putting the ball in play and executing the situational hitting is what's going to keep in the big leagues, it's what got me here."
- Ichiro RF
- Brendan Ryan SS
- Justin Smoak 1B
- Jack Cust DH
- Adam Kennedy 2B
- Miguel Olivo C
- Carlos Peguero LF
- Chone Figgins 3B
- Michael Saunders CF
RHP Doug Fister
- Felix Pie CF
- J.J. Hardy SS
- Nick Markakis RF
- Vladimir Guerrero DH
- Matt Wieters C
- Luke Scott 1B
- Nolan Reimold LF
- Mark Reynolds 3B
- Robert Andino 2B
RHP Jake Arrieta