Mariners Insider

UPDATED: Brendan Ryan batting lead-off, Chone Figgins gets a rare start for the Mariners

Post by Ryan Divish on July 15, 2012 at 10:31 am with 6 Comments »
July 15, 2012 11:51 am

The Mariners are going with an interesting lineup today as Brendan Ryan and his .182 batting average and his .284 on-base percentage will hit lead-off. Dustin Ackley, who has had a solid few games at the lead-off spot, has the day off.

Manager Eric Wedge talked about he dramatic splits against all-star lefthander Matt Harrison. Left-handed hitters are hitting just .178 against him this year, while right-handers are hitting .291. After having quality at-bats the last few games, Wedge didn’t want to set Ackley’s improvement back by having him have to face Harrison.

“We got a tough lefty with extreme splits,” Wedge said. “I feel like Ackley’s swing is definitely heading in the right direction. it’s been a tough matchup against this kid, so I didn’t want to disturb anything with that. I thought it was a good day to get Ackley a day off and let him sit on some good swings.”

It does show how committed Wedge is to keeping Ichiro at the No. 2 spot to move Ryan up to leadoff.

“I wanted a right-hander to lead-off against this guy,” Wedge said. “We have Figgins in there, but he hasn’t been playing. So we wanted an every day guy there, so Ryan is the guy.”

Ryan batted lead-off 40 times in his career. Twenty-two of those came in his best offensive season – 2009 – when he hit . 292 for the Cardinals.  He has a career average of .266 batting lead-off

TNT columnist John McGrath actually lobbied for this opportunity in a column last week. .

From his column …

4. I want to see shortstop Brendan Ryan auditioned as a leadoff hitter. Sure, the offensive numbers are abominable, but over the past month his on-base percentage is .348.

Ryan never has batted No. 1 in Seattle. When he was with the Cardinals, he served as leadoff hitter in 40 games, batting .364. A small sample size – 12-for-33, with seven walks – but an impressive one.

Ryan can run, and he can coax a walk, and if he manages to flourish in the leadoff role, he’ll give the Mariners reason to re-sign him after his contract expires in October. That last thought is personal: There is nothing I enjoy at Safeco Field more than watching Ryan make crazy plays at shortstop.

Mariners (37-52)

  • 26 Brendan Ryan SS
  • 51 Ichiro Suzuki (L) RF
  • 33 Casper Wells LF
  • 63 Jesus Montero DH
  • 17 Justin Smoak (S) 1B
  • 15 Kyle Seager (L) 2B
  • 30 Miguel Olivo C
  • 55 Michael Saunders (L) CF
  • 9 Chone Figgins (S) 3B

18 Hisashi Iwakuma RHP

Rangers (53-35)

  • 5 Ian Kinsler 2B
  • 1 Elvis Andrus SS
  • 32 Josh Hamilton (L) DH
  • 29 Adrian Beltre 3B
  • 10 Michael Young 1B
  • 17 Nelson Cruz RF
  • 7 David Murphy (L) LF
  • 8 Yorvit Torrealba C
  • 23 Craig Gentry (L) CF

54 Matt Harrison LHP

Leave a comment Comments → 6
  1. bbnate420 says:

    Seems like you’re en fuego, Larry.

    Any chance they bat Ichirold in the 10th spot? As in a pinch hitter.

  2. bbnate420 says:

    Sorry Ryan, didn’t notice it was you! 8)

  3. bbnate420 says:

    BTW, I know I have been down on Ichiro lately and, I still don’t think he should be playing for a team in our position. That said, I want to throw out a question I haven’t seen brought up much. Is there any chance he doesn’t get in the HOF? I personally think it would be a travesty if he didn’t! He has what, almost 3,800 hits between Japan and MLB now? He was a gold glover for a decade. He was dominant in MLB for 10 years. Anyone think different?

  4. bbnate420 says:


  5. Re Ichiro: while the Japanese part of his record, shouldn’t influence HoF voters in the least, his record will get him in. “Familiarity breeds contempt”, as the saying goes. Ricky Henderson he ain’t–and neither is anyone else–but even after two rotten years of OBP, he’s .366 for his career. Four-tool player excelling in all areas but power, the only player with ten straight years of 200 hits plus per season, eight straight years of 100 plus runs even when playing for some rotten teams, ten straight years as an All Star, an MVP, holds the record of 262 hits in a season, never suspected (by anyone I know about) of having used steroids…

    Minuses (these are just my opinion)–not popular with sportswriters because he refuses to speak in poor English and doesn’t like them either, arrogant to a fault (example–if an ump calls a borderline pitch strike two, he’s a sitting duck for anything near the zone on the next pitch), hasn’t led in any way but by example and now that’s not working so well (except for his work ethic, which continues to be impeccable). Some people seem to blame him for his salary…that strikes me as barking up the wrong tree.

    Hall bound, but only loved now by young kids, people who appreciate outlying skills, and the majority of his countrymen (but a significant percentage of them never cared for him either).

    If you’ve ever tried hitting a baseball, you should be able to appreciate the way he could play tennis with a baseball when he was in his prime. That’s what will get him to the Hall ultimately, because his fellow professionals–the ones who weren’t jealous, anyway–respect that skill and will say so when he retires. I opine.

    Did I bite down hard enough on that one for you, bbn? I was fascinated by Keeler, Wagner, Sisler and Simmons as a kid, which is probably what makes Ichiro’s career so interesting to me.

  6. Oh, one more thing. For players in their twelfth year (or less), only one player is ahead of Ichiro in Wins Above Replacement. A guy named Albert Pujols.

    I hope, for the sake of M’s fans who like him and those who don’t, that the next M’s right fielder goes to ten straight All Star games and gets ten straight Gold Gloves. That is not weak sauce.

We welcome comments. Please keep them civil, short and to the point. ALL CAPS, spam, obscene, profane, abusive and off topic comments will be deleted. Repeat offenders will be blocked. Thanks for taking part and abiding by these simple rules.

JavaScript is required to post comments.

Follow the comments on this post with RSS 2.0