A relatively slow day for the Mariners activity-wise because of rain has ended with some interesting discussion by manager Eric Wedge about his middle infielders.
Jack Wilson and Brendan Ryan will get a lot of time early in camp at shortstop. The logic is that with Jack Wilson’s history of in
juries, it’s wise to give Ryan plenty of reps at shortstop, which is his better position anyway. Going into camp, the most likely scenario was Wilson at shortstop (as long as he’s healthy) and Ryan at second.
However, Wedge added another dimension when talking about the middle infield equation. In order to give him plenty of lineup options, Wedge plans to try Wilson at second base with Ryan at shortstop at spring training.
Could that be a regular-season possibility?
“I’d say that would be a bit of a reach right now, but it’s still possible,” Wedge said.
Possible enough that he spoke with Wilson about it.
“I told him, ‘I’m not sure how it’s going to play out yet. I’m going to take a good look at the Ryan kid. Both of you will be somewhere,” Wedge said.
Of course, that’s as long as Wilson remains healthy. He has played only 92 games since coming to the Mariners in a midseason trade in 2009.
“Jack’s had some issues staying healthy and he’s got to show us we can count on him physically,” Wedge said. “I don’t know how it’s going to play out, but I want to have options. I think if Jack’s healthy and out there doing what he’s capable of doing, we’ll be in good shape with him. If Ryan shows what we believe he is, he’ll be a good option for us, too. I’m not ready to make that call yet.”
“The first thing we have to do is look at Ryan and Jack at shortstop and go from there. I don’t want to pigeon-hole myself here early on until I see them. Whether they like it or not, I don’t know. But that’s what we’re going to do.”
Wedge stressed that his goal now is to give a good look at every middle infielder in camp – Wilson, Ryan, Josh Wilson, Adam Kennedy, Sean Kazmar, Luis Rodriguez and Dustin Ackley. He not only needs to see who fits best in the shortstop and second base positions but also who can back up Chone Figgins at third and Justin Smoak at first.
Ryan will play some third base in spring training, and Kennedy not only will play second but also first in camp, Wedge said.