After a first one-third of a season in which he's struggled mightily, third baseman Chone Figgins found himself called into manager Eric Wedge's office Monday morning.
The news wasn't unexpected. Figgins was being dropped to the bottom of the batting order, at least in the short term,
At the time of the move, Figgins was in a 2-for-36 slide that had him down to .193 for the season. But the Mariners had won nine of their last 11 games despite that, so Figgins found the news easier to take than last year, when he openly rebelled when then-manager Don Wakamatsu dropped him from second to ninth.
Wedge said that Figgins, who would go 0-for-3 batting eighth, handled his demotion with peace and grace, "like a pro," Wedge said.
"I've been through stuff like this before," Figgins said. "I've been moved in the lineup to different places. My mindset is not going to change. I'm still going to go out and do the same thing I do all the time, which is play defense and create havoc. So it's not really going to change anything because I'm hitting eighth.
"For me, it's still hard, because I want to win, too, and I want to help the team a lot more than what I've been doing."
Figgisn probably would have been hitting ninth, but with the similarly struggling Michael Saunders in center field with Franklin Gutierrez getting the day off, Wedge settled on having Figgins in the eighth slot.
"We had a good conversation the other day and another good conversation this morning," Wedge said. "I didn't want to have that conversation. You don't ever want have to have that conversation, but ultimately I feel like it's the best thing to for him right now, I feel it's the best thing to do for our team now."
Brendan Ryan was moved up to No. 2 in the order because in his last 18 games he had a .424 average (25-for-59) that left him with a team-best .277 overall average. In those 18 games, he had a .478 on-base percentage and a .542 slugging percentage.
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