Figgins back in lineup tonight after brief respite

Veteran third baseman Chone Figgins is back at third base and batting eighth tonight against Tampa Bay after a two-game hiatus by manager Eric Wedge.

Figgins, in an 0-for-22 skid and hitting just .190, will get a return shot against Rays right-hander James Shields. That’s no easy task, but Figgins does have a nice track record against Shields, having hit .370 (10 for 27) with three doubles.

Wedge would love to see a little of that tonight, obviously, as the Mariners are coming off a lackluster 2-1 loss to Baltimore when they totaled just five singles while wasting another strong start by Michael Pineda.

Though Figgins has been a lightning rod for fans with his slow start, it’s worth noting that his replacement — Luis Rodriguez — hasn’t exactly lit things up either. Rodriguez is hitting just .167 in 66 at-bats this season. Wedge’s best bet is to get Figgins squared away and he’ll see if a couple days off helped.

The best way to do that is to work him in at the bottom of the order, especially with Brendan Ryan hitting well at No. 2, and watch what happens for a bit.

Worth noting: Figgins was hitting just .198 as of May 29 last year, but played much better the rest of the way.

While fans are also clamoring for the promotion of the red-hot Mike Carp from Tacoma, the Mariners are sticking with Carlos Peguero in left field for now. No roster moves at this point today and doesn’t sound like anything imminent on that front.

Should be a good matchup tonight with Felix Hernandez against Shields. Hernandez is 2-1 with a 2.42 ERA in seven career starts against the Rays and the Mariners are 6-0 when Felix starts against Tampa at Safeco Field. He’s 2-0 with a 1.42 ERA in six starts against the Rays in Seattle, but has received only nine total runs of support.

The Mariners will try to produce a little more tonight to help out their Cy Young winner, but Shields comes in with a 5-3 record and 2.15 ERA, so it won’t be easy.

Here’s tonight’s full lineup for Seattle:

51  Ichiro Suzuki (L)     RF
26  Brendan Ryan          SS
17  Justin Smoak (S)      1B
29  Jack Cust (L)         DH
21  Franklin Gutierrez    CF
4  Adam Kennedy (L)      2B
30  Miguel Olivo          C
9  Chone Figgins (S)     3B
8  Carlos Peguero (L)    LF
34  Felix Hernandez       RHP


Figgins started off the night good! That RBI was huge for him. The rest of the night wasn’t too exciting when he came up, a lot of soft stuff. I’m rooting for him though!!!!

Yea he started good but didnt finish well and when you have a player going 1-22 you need to find someone new cause he is just not cutting it anymore

Why do the M’s continue to play Figgins? How about trying Jack Wilson at 3rd?

Figgins needs to be a bit more “team” oriented! I’m finding it harder and harder to “root” for him every time he’s up to bat! He seems to be more concerned with adjusting his velcro than paying attention to anything else…you know…like the pitcher, the pitch or the ball! Maybe a little side course in adjusting his attention might help! I’m all for replacing him until he REALLY wants to play the game!

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