Mariners manager Eric Wedge told Chone Figgins Friday that he has lost his place in the Mariners lineup, and will ride the bench as a utility player. Wedge met with Figgins before the game Friday at Safeco Field. Hitting .189, Figgins has struck out 28 times in 95 at-bats. In the last seven games, Figgins hit .043.
“I talked to Figgy today and I told him we’re going to change his role,” Wedge told reporters. “He’s going to be in more of a utility role for us now. So, I had a good conversation with Chone earlier today before we posted the lineup and he was a total pro about it.
“He understood. I felt like this was the time we needed to do it. I wanted to give it as long as I felt like I could to try to get him going. It just wasn’t happening to the point where I felt like it should.”
Dustin Ackley has moved up from No. 2 to the leadoff spot in the order. Alex Liddi is batting second Friday.
“I’d love for Brendan Ryan to get going and get him back up there,” Wedge said. “We might have to do that anyway.”
Figgins will still get playing time, but only to give rest to the full-timers at various positions.
I really don’t see Ackley as a leadoff hitter. If anything, he and Ichrio should flip flop in the order. There isn’t anyone else on the team who could hit leadoff though and nothing on the horizon in the minors.
I assume the coaches have watched video of Figgins hitting stance as an Angel compared to now. I wonder how much of it has changed? Ever since Figgins came here he hasn’t come come close to what he did in in Anaheim. I can’t believe it’s simply Safeco Field that’s his problem when his game never relied on power.
He felt the money pressure the first year and never recovered. He’s not even making contact . Ackley’s not ideal, especially lately, but if Ryan is incapable, there’s no choice.
Art, I kind of see Figgins’ issue the same way you do. The money got in his head in a number of ways. In addition though, now that PEDs are on the decline in MLB (at least I hope they are and not just better hidden) it seems to me the career arc of a ballplayer is moving back towards the norm through history. Figgens is 34 now, which when I was growing up was normally getting late in the downhill side of a career. Yes, the big contract was something he had trouble with at first but I really wonder if we just grossly overpaid for a player that had passed his prime when he signed the deal. And the 4th year we had to add on the back end is really turning out to be the biggest mistake.
Had to happen. Figgins not only hasn’t been making contact, we had a game end in Tampa Bay this week with him watching a called third strike…not exactly protecting the plate, which should be a strong point for a contact hitter (you’d think). $9 million a year or no $9 million a year, he’s not doing what you need your guy at the top of the order to do and there’s no sense in making the kids keep sitting when they need the experience to prove whether they might be able to play at this level or not.
We ALL knew this would be a season of growing pains with so many young players on the roster and more on the way. A consolation prize is that we’ve got good enough pitching right now to stay close within most games, and Walker, Paxton or Hultzen haven’t even reached AAA yet.