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August 3, 2011 at 11:25 AM

Wedge explains today’s unique Mariners lineup

When Eric Wedge was asked about today’s Mariners lineup — which has Ichiro at DH, Mike Carp at first base, Jack Wilson at third base for the first time in his career, Casper Wells in right and Greg Halman in left — he laughed and said, “That got your attention, didn’t it?”
He’s had to scramble a little with third baseman Chone Figgins going on the disabled list yesterday, and now Justin Smoak out, probably for a few days, with a left thumb injury (Smoak showed his thumb to reporters in the clubhouse. It was swollen, and he could barely move it).

“Obviously, Smoak is very sore today,” Wedge said. “With Figgy on the DL, we gave Jack Wilson the head-up yesterday we wanted him to start taking some ground balls at third base. Which he did. Robby (Thompson, infield coach) is going to take him and some of the other infielders out there today, too and knock the ball around a little in the infield.
“Carp was a first baseman, anyway. When we sent him out, I talked to Brownie (Tacoma manager Daren Brown) about making sure he gets more reps at first base. He’s being working here, pre-game.
“I wanted to get Halman back in there, get Ichi off his feet, so the only way to do that was the lineup you’re looking at today, obviously facing a lefty. There you have it.”
Kyle Seager, called up from Tacoma yesterday to take Figgins’ spot, didn’t get the start at third only partly because the A’s are starting tough lefty Gio Gonzalez (9-8, 2.84 ERA).
“That, and I wanted to get Jack in there, and I wanted to get Carp in there,” Wedge said.
As for Smoak, who bruised his left thumb fielding a ground ball, Wedge said it could be more than a couple of days before he returns. The Mariners are not talking disabled list right now, but if it lingers too long they’ll have to think about it. He was removed for a pinch-hitter in the eighth.
“Right now, he’s day to day,” Wedge said. “I could have just told him to go up there and wear it so we had the defense out there. It was his left thumb. The last thing I wanted to do, he gets a ball and goes to throw and he can’t feel it. He had an at-bat after he got hit, but it was right after he got hit. After that, it swelled up, and when he gripped a bat a couple of innings later, he wasn’t able to go. He was literally on the on-deck circle trying to go. He just couldn’t do it.
“It’s a big part of what you’re doing, throwing and gripping a bat.. He’ll have to get a ton of treatment on it. The other thumb thing (discomfort he experienced in his right thumb earlier this year) is a stinger; lot of hitters get it. It’s more of a maintenance thing. I don’t see that being an issue moving forward because now he’s got the pad like a lot of hitters do. He’s going to stay ahead of it. But this thing is probably going to take a few days.”
Wedge continued to rave about the baserunning of Brenday Ryan in Tuesday’s game. He alertly took second and third when the A’s left them unoccupied after an infield single in the first inning.
“He’s a cult hero now, I guess,” Wedge said. “I’m driving in today and going home last night, and everyone I run into is talking about it. Good for him. I’ve never sent that at the major league level. I’ve seen it in Little League a few times, and that’s about it.
“He’s a headup player and he brings energy. He’s not afraid to take risks, and I love players that aren’t afraid to take risks. You can’t play this game with fear. You can’t play this game trying not to do something. You have to play this game looking to do something.
“It’s important to understand that, and it’s a mindset. A lot of these guys are still working on that mindset. I love the way we play. I love our energy. I love our fight. I love the way they take care of each other, and the way they show up to get after it. You’ve got to remove that fear and let it go, and just go out and play. That’s what he does. It bodes well for him and most people at this level.”

Comments | Topics: Chone Figgins


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