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December 12, 2010 at 12:33 PM

Mariners GM Jack Zduriencik says new infielder Brendan Ryan will compete for a starting job

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Mariners GM Jack Zduriencik said newly-acquired infielder Brendan Ryan will indeed compete for a starting infielder’s job. Zduriencik won’t come right out and say it, but the idea behind this move seems to be to find the placeholder for Dustin Ackley at second base before the M’s are ready to bring their top prospect to the majors mid-summer.
After that, Ryan could be the guy who replaces Jack Wilson at shortstop by 2012 and until prospect Nick Franklin is ready to take a shot at the major league level.
“What I’ve said to Brendan and what I’ve said to (manager) Eric (Wedge) is, what I’d like to do is create opportunities,” Zduriencik said. “Create competition. And at the end of the day, let the pieces fall where they may.”
But the fact remains, shortstop and second base are Ryan’s top positions. He’s played a little third base, but was the Cards’ starting shortstop by the end of last season.
Photo Credit: AP


This move means you can likely expect Chone Figgins to switch back to his natural third base position when spring training begins. I asked Zduriencik whether he’s prepared to have that conversation with Figgins any time soon.
“We have not talked to Chone yet,” he said. “I just spoke this morning with Eric (Wedge). So, as we move forward, we’ve got a lot of time before spring training, but we would like to have discussions with our players sometime…I’d say in the next week to 10 days. Just to sort of give them the lay of the land and where things stand. Give them our opinions, hear their opinions and then some decisions could be made.”
Ryan hit .292 a couple of seasons ago, but dropped off to .223 last year after undergoing wrist surgery a couple of weeks before spring training. Ryan didn’t want to make excuses about it when I asked him, but it was clear the surgery didn’t help his cause.
“It’s something that’s bothered me all the way back to my high school days,” he said. “I was told I have to tough it out.”
That he did, until it became unbearable. The surgery uncovered “something bulging in there” that was shaved down.
Ryan now says the wrist feels as good as new.

Comments | Topics: Brendan Ryan, Chone Figgins

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