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July 17, 2011 at 11:52 AM

Wedge puts onus on veterans for offensive struggles

As seems to be the case on a daily basis, Eric Wedge spent most of his pre-game media session Sunday ruminating on the Mariners’ offensive woes. He again said the players need a better plan at the plate, and said that has to begin with the veterans.
“A kid, it’s somewhat understandable,” he said. “With a veteran, it’s not, for me. I mean, this is the big leagues. There’s a lot of baseball these guys have played before getting up here. Now with younger kids, that’s one thing. With veterans, there shouldn’t be any excuses. They should be going up there with a plan, sticking with their plan, and at least giving themselves a chance to have success. You’re not going to always have that, but you at least have to give yourself a chance.”
Asked if he sees Seattle’s veterans struggling to have a good plan, Wedge said, “Yeah, I do. If you look at our troubles offensively, it has to start with our veterans. That’s the way it is.”

Wedge didn’t name any names, but he doesn’t have to. He did single out Adam Kennedy and Miguel Olivo for having a good approach, so you can pretty much throw any other veteran into the group that Wedge feels needs to step it up.
“They have to remedy it,” he said. “We’re going to keep working at it, but ultimately, they have to dig themselves out of it. We’re going to help them do it, but we’re not a couple of weeks, or even a couple of months, into the season any more. We got 60-something games left. It should have already been remedied.”
Wedge said he went through something similar in Cleveland in his early years with the Indians.
“It was more drastic in so many ways,” he said. “The thing you have to remember, we’re not playing bad baseball. We’re just not hitting at all. When we started things out in Cleveland, there was some bad baseball. They were so young, they were learning on the job. We have quite a few guys here learning on the job, too. It’s one definitive area now we have to attack and that’s what we’re doing.”
Wedge was asked how hitting coach Chris Chambliss is holding up.
“It’s tough, but that’s one of the reasons we hired Chris,” he said. “He knew it was going to be a tough road ahead, and I think his experience as a player and a coach, his personality and toughness within that personality, that’s one of the reasons we brought him here, because we knew it was going to be a tough road. We wanted to have someone strong enough to handle it. I think all things considered, he’s handled it very well. It doesn’t lessen his frustration and being upset. I’ve obviously been talking with him more frequently lately. We talk every day, but more extended talks lately. We’re on the same page. We’ve just got to get these guys there.”
As for today’s lineup, Wedge said Greg Halman hitting sixth was “out of necessity. We haven’t had a prototypical big-league lineup all year. It’s not going to change. We have to put guys in positions we feel is best with what we have.”
Erik Bedard, meanwhile, threw a bullpen session today. He’ll have another in a few days, and if they go well, he’ll go back into the rotation on the upcoming road trip, Wedge said. There is currently no plan for him to have a minor-league rehab start.



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