Mariners Insider Blog

Figgins out as starter, leadoff hitter

From the Associated Press:

Mariners manager Eric Wedge said leadoff hitter Chone Figgins is being benched after the veteran's batting average plummeted to .189 after a recent slump.

Wedge told reporters before Friday's game that he had a conversation with Figgins about being used in more of a utility role. Wedge also said Dustin Ackley would be the team's new No. 1 hitter for the time being.

Figgins has never lived up to the $36 million, four-year deal he signed with the Mariners before the 2010 season. He was moved back into the leadoff role at the start of this season in the hopes that returning to his familiar spot in the batting order might spark his offensive production.

For a short time it did, as Figgins was hitting .260 on April 18. But in the following 12 games, Figgins had just five hits in 45 at-bats with three of those hits coming in one game.