It’s official: Ryan at shortstop, Wilson at second base
Brendan Ryan won the Mariners starting shortstop job, manager Eric Wedge announced Tuesday. (Photo by Greg Johns/MLB.com).
Manager Eric Wedge made his decision today on the Mariners middle infield situation and it came with something of a surprise: Brendan Ryan will be the everyday shortstop, with Jack Wilson at second base for the first time in his career.
Wilson has been splitting time with Ryan at second this spring, but will take the bulk of the work on the right side of the infield from now on.
Ryan, obtained by trade from the Cardinals over the offseason, is regarded as one of the game’s premier defensive shortstops and is five years younger than Wilson, 33.
Wedge said part of the equation remains untold until the utility infield spot is finalized, which likely means non-roster invitee Adam Kennedy will fit into the picture as well. But for now, the skipper was willing only to finalize the Ryan-Wilson situation.
“We could have gone either way with it because we’re comfortable with both guys on both sides of the bag, but we felt this is the best combo,” he said.
Ryan hasn’t hit particularly well this spring, though his .152 average is a little misleading since he’s hit the ball hard at people numerous times. But he’s impressed the Mariners with his shortstop play.
“I was just wide open with my view of him,” Wedge said. “And he’s been everything and then some. I think with regard to Jack, he’s been fantastic with the way he’s gone about his business at second base and shortstop, with his offensive side of things and the way he’s run the bases. he’s had a lot to offer this spring.”
Wedge said keeping Wilson healthy was a small part of the decision as well, with second base a little less demanding than shortstop. Left unsaid was the fact second base could change in the near future when the club brings Dustin Ackley into the picture.
As for how Ackley fits in, Wedge said he wouldn’t speak on that topic at this point. Ackley presumably will start the season in Tacoma, but he is obviously a key piece in the future as the organization’s top position prospect.
He did say catcher Miguel Olivo will catch three innings tomorrow in a Minor League game and is on schedule to break camp with the team if all goes well.