Tag:Jack Wilson
Posted on: March 22, 2011 1:01 pm

Mariners to go with Ryan at SS, Wilson at 2B

PEORIA, Ariz. -- The Mariners will line up with newcomer Brendan Ryan at shortstop and veteran Jack Wilson at second base, manager Eric Wedge said Tuesday morning.

Which is interesting news, because Wilson has never played a game at second base in the majors.

Part of the decision, Wedge said, was made because he likes having a veteran on each side of the infield. This way, Wilson, a 10-year veteran, will play alongside young first baseman Justin Smoak while third baseman Chone Figgins, a nine-year veteran, will play alongside Ryan.

"We felt this was a more comfortable fit," Wedge said.

He also said that one of Seattle's goals this summer is to keep Wilson healthy. Wilson played in only 61 games last season thanks to two trips to the disabled list -- one for a hamstring strain and one because of a fractured hand.

If Wilson is to get hurt again, Wedge said, he'd rather it be while the 33-year-old is playing second base. Translation: The Mariners think playing second will lessen Wilson's chances of injury as opposed to the more demanding shortstop position.

"I really feel confident this is the right move," Wedge said. "My job is to put the best team out there. And when you're talking about a middle of the field with [catcher Miguel] Olivo, Wilson, Ryan and Franklin [Gutierrez in center field], I think we'll be very athletic up the middle."

While Ryan is good with the glove, he's not likely to do much to improve the Mariners' dreadful offense. In 139 games in St. Louis last summer, Ryan batted .223 with a .279 on-base percentage.

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