Seattle Mariners manager Eric Wedge has decided to replace shortstop Brendan Ryan in the starting lineup with utility player Robert Andino. Was this the right move three and a half weeks into the 2013 Major League Baseball season?
Ryan has posted the worst batting average (.143) on the team through 23 games this season. That includes one hit in his last 25 at-bats and a six-game hitless streak. There is no question Ryan is a very talented defensive infielder. However, for a team that ranks in the bottom three in the American League in most offensive categories, the Mariners simply need more production on offense.
In order to accomplish this, Wedge will give Andino the nod at shortstop for the time being. It is unknown exactly how long Andino will get an opportunity to prove himself, but Seattle is convinced it is time to shake things up a bit.
“I’m going to take it day-by-day, week-by-week and month-by-month, quite frankly,” Wedge said. “I’m going to give Robert a chance to play and see where he takes it. I like what I saw with his work and his approach this spring. I don’t feel it’s been as good inseason, but it’s been a little better here the last week in the cage.”
The peculiar part about the switch is that Andino is not performing much better at the plate then Ryan. The 28-year-old is batting .176 (third worst on the team) with two RBI, two doubles, two walks and 12 strikeouts in 34 at-bats. Considering Ryan has posted two RBI, five walks and 14 strikeouts shows that there is no major upgrade.
With that being said, Wedge is convinced that promoting Andino might give him the extra edge he needs to improve his mentality at the plate. It appears to be the right move for now, even if there might not be much of a difference in production.