Mariners Insider

Mariners looking at options at short

Post by Larry Larue / The News Tribune on Feb. 24, 2012 at 6:09 am with 5 Comments »
February 24, 2012 6:09 am
Brendan Ryan

Seattle Mariners shortstop Brendan Ryan is the opening day starter with one caveat – he has to be able to throw.

At the moment, he can’t. At least not from short. Instead, still fighting the neck injury that sidelined him late last season, Ryan is playing catch on the sidelines and trying to build his way back to health.

Given that, the Mariners have begun seriously looking at options. Yesterday, after the full-squad practice ended, manager Eric Wedge and infield coach Robby Thompson took two players, Chone Figgins and Munenori Kawasaki, to a back field.

There, out of view of most of the media, Thompson hit ground balls for nearly 20 minutes to Figgins and Kawasaki at shortstop.

Wedge said it was just extra work, nothing out of the usual. But nothing quite like it had happened in camp. Getting Figgins reps at shortstop makes sense; the team wants him to play many positions in 2012.

Still, he hadn’t taken a single grounder at shortstop until yesterday. And Kawasaki, the Japanese import, has taken dozens of balls at short all spring, so keeping him late for extra work was unusual.

Bottom line: The Mariners want Ryan healthy opening day but aren’t certain they’ll get that wish. If they don’t, Figgins and Kawasaki figure to make up most of the time Ryan misses at shortstop.

Leave a comment Comments → 5
  1. I sure hope Figgins booted the balls around. I’d love to see him gone.

  2. SandlotSam says:

    If Ryan is still fighting a health issue from last season, I don’t know how much hope there is that it will suddenly get better and stay better in a matter of weeks. We can hope, I guess, but it’s a darn good thing they signed Kawasaki.

  3. Good work as usual, Larry. I have a feeling that this story will grow as time passes. Herniated disc in the neck is not a good thing to have, whether you’re a pro athlete or just a keyboard tapper like me. My remaining question is, why wasn’t Louis Rodriguez down on that field too? I suppose he’s working out regularly at short with another group. But this implies to me that Kawasaki is significantly ahead of Rodriguez at this early point in the spring. What do you think, Larry?

  4. I now see that Rodriguez is starting at second for one of the two teams going today, with Triunfel at short. (I wonder if this will be the year when commentators learn how to pronounce Triunfel’s name? Probably not, since many of them never learned how to pronounce Holmgren.) Don’t know if that means anything, since he is used to playing around the infield; but it doesn’t seem he’s considered to be Ryan’s backup at this point.

    Figgins, Kawasaki, Seager, Rodriguez; someone’s not going to make the trip to Japan, especially if they take Montero, Olivo and Jaso.

  5. footballscaa says:

    Put him at first, then he won’t have to throw as far.

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