Mariners Insider

On the future of Brendan Ryan, Chone Figgins

Post by Larry Larue / The News Tribune on May 3, 2012 at 5:45 pm with 12 Comments »
May 3, 2012 5:45 pm
Brendan Ryan

The Seattle Mariners flew home with a six-game losing streak after Tampa Bay laid another one-run loss on them today, 4-3, but for Mariners fans frustrated by a few of the team’s veterans, it was an intriguing day.

Brendan Ryan, the shortstop batting .130, didn’t play today, but when manager Eric Wedge was asked about him, he was candid. Wedge said the team had to find a way to get Ryan going rather than consider other long-term options, at least for now.

“Ryan takes away more runs at shortstop than anybody,” Wedge said. “If we can get a borderline average from him at the plate, we’ve got a championship-caliber shortstop.

“But that’s up to him. He’s got to give us more at the plate.”

What about the possibility of, say, Kyle Seager at shortstop?

“I don’t see that happening,” Wedge said.

Chone Figgins came up, as well, and Wedge sounded like his patience had about run out – espeially after another 0-for-4 day dropped Figgins average to .189 – a point higher than it was all of last season.

“If the top of the order doesn’t get on base, the middle of the lineup can’t produce,” Wedge said. “We’re 27 games into the season, and it’s a process. We’ve already made a couple of moves, and if we feel the need to, we’ll make a couple more.

“We will continue to make adjustments.”

Figgins, meanwhile, seemed almost oblivious to his numbers in 2012, or to the jeopardy his job might be in.

“I feel great, I’m taking some great hacks, driving some balls,” Figgins said. “I’m getting nothing to show for it. I think I’d rather feel bad and get hits.”

That may be the quote that makes Wedge and the front office agree that Figgins is no longer part of the solution but might be a piece of the problem. Yikes!

Leave a comment Comments → 12
  1. SandlotSam says:

    I think Figgins must be the happiest “.200″ hitter in the Majors. Good grief.

  2. timeout says:

    As I read through the info coming out of the minor leagues, I don’t identify a single prospective top-notch major league shortstop. Triunfel and Franklin, the best prospects on the radar, seem to be average fielders at best.

    In Kawasaki the M’s have a serviceable ML back-up infielder who’s very capable at shortstop; certainly moreso than Kyle Seager, who looks fine at third (better than I expected)and is said to be solid at second. Kawasaki handles the bat OK, and if he can learn to catch up to a top-end fastball, he’ll do find at ninth in the lineup. But this problem doesn’t seem to be going away soon because of someone waiting in the wings, and Kawasaki shouldn’t be starting every day at short. Ryan needs to hit. With Figgins in there at one and Ryan at nine–well, it’s like a National League lineup with two pitchers hitting. Ugh.

  3. alaskafan says:

    This is the team that JACK Z. built. The only carryovers are Felix and Ichiro. The Mariners need a new owner, a new General Manager, and maybe a new manager, although I can’t write Wedge off yet. But it is getting close!! Felix and Ichiro are doing fine, Felix deserves better, I can’t see why he would stay in Seattle after his contract expires. He is pitching for a minor league franchise that is playing in the Major Leagues. The Mariners are a farm club for MLB teams. Hows Adam Jones doing in Baltimore??

  4. Coach81 says:

    Alaskafan, Z didn’t trade Adam Jones to Baltimore. As I’ve stated in previous posts, he has brought a LOT of young talent to the organization, through trades and the draft. Our ownership situation, while not that of a Boston or New York, is better than most, considering that Seattle is a medium-sized market. Ownership has spent big money in the not-too-distant past, and got 100 losses for their dollar. Who are we to blame them for not wanting to jump back into that? What would happen to the Mariners if they signed, say, Pujols at $250 mil over 10 years and he produced here like he currently is in Anaheim? The organization would take 20 years to recover from that.

  5. timeout says:

    Bingo, Coach81. To bring out an old chestnut:
    Insanity–>doing the same thing over and over again and expecting different results.
    The ownership tried spending big in the free agency market under Bavasi; not good. So now they’re trying a different tactic, building from the bottom up. It takes time–which in this day of talk radio and the blogosphere is anathema–and so far only the young pitchers are truly encouraging. But the real question is, will they make the big investment at the proper time? Meanwhile they’re trying to hold the fort in attendance, and their dumb-in my opinion–variable pricing policy is driving people away almost as fast as losing. The M’s are in a tough position, but I’m staying the course. It can get frustrating.

  6. FishAK says:

    Since football season in fastly approaching us…I will have to use a football term to help out the Mariners…Let’s back up and PUNT! I think it is crazy for the Mariners to play three guys at once that are all batting below the Mendoza line of .200. As said earlier, you might as well put three pitchers in and let them get their hacks!

    Starting Kawasaki is a must! He at least gets a hit every once in a while. Ryan plays great defense…I do agree…but we got to have offense. I am sick and tired of watching Felix pitch a great game and then get screwed out of the win because the M’s have no offense to counter his pitching. This has been going on way too long! Felix is a yearly Cy Young candidate and probably would have won more of them if he was playing for a different team!

    Figgins needs to be OUT! He has so much potential but he cannot produce. I thought the object of moving Ichiro to the #3 position was to allow him to hit more with men in scoring position. This experiment is not working because Figgins is not getting on base at all!

    Smoak need to be sent to the minors because he needs work. I am not giving up on him…but seriously…we can do better.

    Where are all the gems in the minor league system. Maybe its time to start bringing them up and seeing if they can make a difference! What we got going now is not working at all!

  7. timeout says:

    I’m for giving Smoak a couple more weeks before taking action. One reason is, I think he needs to go to Tacoma rather than sit at the big league level when/if action is taken. It’s not time for that yet. The second reason is, I’ve seen some encouraging signs from him in the past couple of starts. It’s not like they have Lou Gehrig waiting in the wings. Liddi had his hot streak, and now he’s scuffling. Carp’s needed in left and DH as well as to backup first.

    As for Ryan and Figgins, I can’t disagree with you. Elsewhere Jerry Brewer mentioned playing Seager some at short. To me, that’s an emergency measure. Kawasaki and Ryan (gotta play him occasionally while he works on his swing) at short, Seager at second and third.

    I was hoping Figgins would play well enough for some kind, ANY kind of trade. But noooo…

  8. I agree that if he has an option left, Smoak should have been in Tacoma a couple weeks ago. He was rushed to the majors, & if he really has the talent the M’s think he does, he hasn’t handled the pressure well, to put it mildly.

    Give him some time to find himself, & than either bring him back or give up.

    Unless we’re using the worthless philosophy of trying to showcase a player who’s playing horribly for a non existent trade (see Figgins, Chone).

    I am more & more thinking that Jack Z would make a tremendous farm system directer, but doesn’t got what it takes at this level. I also felt tat way about Bavasi, who was also building a decent farm system until the win now pressure somewhat justifiably kicked in & he started making so many huge mistakes.

  9. timeout says:

    Smoak has options left (Larry Stone).

  10. footballscaa says:

    The future of Brendan Ryan? Impressions. He’s certainly impersonating a MLB player. Figgens? Pantomime. Does a lot with some smoke and mirrors.

  11. wabubba67 says:

    Yeah, Stone does a nice job. It’s a shame we have to rely on the other paper for information. I always side with a Tacoma business when given a comparable choice…I’m starting to think the choice is no longer close enough for me to shop locally.

  12. timeout says:

    I’m a big fan of Larry Stone’s work. But note that he and Baker–who should be reporting for the National Enquirer as far as I am concerned–spell each other. They work like mules when they’re working, which most of us do as a matter of course, and get lots of time off, which most of us dream of. When Larry Larue comes back from a three-city workfest, all there is to back him up is the AP. Larry may not blog as often as the Times twosome, but I’ll bet he works more days than either of them.

    In my opinion, this isn’t a Tacoma problem, it’s a state of the newspaper business problem. The Trib has a more satisfying sports page than the Times, but they just can’t afford as many writers. People have different tastes–there are plenty of folks around who prefer Baker’s hot journalism to Stone’s straight analysis and quiet humor, for example–but I’m telling you, when LaRue goes it will be a bad day for sports journalism in the area.

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