Mariners manager Eric Wedge said pregame that Alex Liddi could see some time at shortstop soon. Wedge reiterated that his primary goal is to get regular shortstop Brendan Ryan back to where he needs to be.
Where is that? I’d say a good 100 points higher than his .140 batting average.
But Liddi needs a spot to play and when I mentioned Kyle Seager for shortstop, Wedge told me he wasn’t going to consider it.
“No,” he said. “But I might consider playing Liddi at shortstop.”
Wedge said that when you watch Liddi take infield practice, he’s full of energy and displays the type of athleticism that’s really risen to the forefront this season. The team is still considering using Liddi in left field as well. But Liddi played shortstop in the minors and having him there a game or two a week would get him added playing time and allow Seager to remain at third base.
I also asked Wedge point blank whether Ichiro would move up or down in the order if he can’t get his bat going at the No. 3 spot. Wedge wouldn’t bite, saying he’d have that conversation with Ichiro before he did with the media. But when I asked Wedge about Ackley at the leadoff spot, the manager said he’s very pleased with how he’s handled the role and has no plans to move him.
So, do the math. If Ichiro can’t get going at No. 3, he’s moving further on down in the order. Not higher up.
Josh Beckett tries to make fans forget about fried chicken, beer and golf outings today as he faces a Mariners team struggling to score runs and hit when it matters. Should be interesting, especially if the M’s can do anything early off him. This crowd will turn real ugly, real quick.