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Mariners may drop Figgins to ninth in batting order: A fan’s reaction
The Seattle Mariners may have given up on Chone Figgins(notes) batting second. It now looks like the team could drop Figgins down to the No. 9 slot in the batting order against the New York Yankees this weekend. For many fans, this is something that is long overdue, as some consider Figgins to be one of the worst free agent signings the Mariners have ever made.
Geoff Baker of the Seattle Times posed the change in the lineup as an idea for the Mariners to strongly consider, and now ESPN is stating that it could happen as early as Friday (May 27). Is ESPN simply reading too much into a column by Baker that was designed to present solutions to the Mariners' hitting woes? Or is there something between the lines that simply isn't spelled out right now?
Figgins has had a terrible 2011 season, and is now hitting just .211 from the No. 2 spot in the lineup. That is actually down from April, showing that he is trending in the wrong direction. As the Mariners are now in the thick of a battle for the American League West, it's time for the franchise to try and make moves that will help them for the rest of the season. Baker got this one right, as it is definitely time to try something new at the top of the lineup.
When it comes to considering all of the options, it would seem that the best man for the job will be Franklin Gutierrez(notes) in about another week. He is fresh off the disabled list, so he needs a few more games to get his legs under him, but after that he could be exactly what the team needs behind Ichiro Suzuki(notes). As for right now, Baker noted that Brendan Ryan(notes) could be a good guy to receive the bump in the lineup, and he has definitely been hitting a lot better lately.
One more fact to add to the discussion is that Figgins hit just .074 on the recent road trip where the Mariners won five of six games. That could have really dragged down the team if they had let it, and it speaks volumes about the need to make a change in the lineup. Figgins has not done well in the No. 2 slot since he came to Seattle, and the Mariners are stuck with a very expensive .200 hitter right now. It's time to try and gloss over that fact by putting him at the back of the order.
Bat him ninth and let him run at will when he does get on base.
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*Ryan is a lifelong Seattle Mariners fan who never misses an opportunity to attend a game at Safeco Field. He has been attending games since 1985, and has fond memories of The Kingdome, Edgar Martinez, and the historic 1995 team. Sodo Mojo!
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