Ryan getting to learn pitchers in new league

Ryan getting to learn pitchers in new league

Ryan getting to learn pitchers in new league
ARLINGTON -- Mariners manager Eric Wedge gave shortstop Brendan Ryan a day off Tuesday because he thought he was pressing a little after getting off to a slow start at the plate with his new team, but Ryan has another theory about his early struggles.

The former St. Louis Cardinals infielder says he's being pitched to differently than he's used to, and it appears it will take time to adjust to the American League style of play.

Ryan said that in his three at-bats against Rangers starter Derek Holland on Monday night, he only saw three fastballs out of about 15 pitches.

The lighthearted Ryan said he's not making excuses, but is more bemused by the different pitching approach to a guy who hit .223 with two home runs a year ago for the Cardinals. Ryan, after going 1-for-12 (.083) in his first four games, was back in the lineup Wednesday against the Rangers.

"Last I checked, I'm not Babe Ruth," he said with a laugh. "I tend not to hurt you with a hard single. Give me a heater to hit at some point, goodness gracious. So it's an approach thing, and it's also learning the sequencing and who is throwing the ball."

Ryan, 26, says Jack Wilson warned him when he was first acquired by the Mariners in the offseason to prepare for a noticeable change.

"He said, 'Get ready to hit offspeed stuff,'" Ryan said. "I said, 'All right, but they still have to throw the heater.' But maybe they don't. I don't know. I'm finding out that may not be the case. I guess I'll find out, but I've seen a lot of offspeed stuff thrown so far.

"I'm talking to [Adam] Kennedy, I'm talking to [Jack] Cust, I'm talking to [Chone] Figgins, guys who've seen these guys before or understand the style of the pitch calling and sequencing and all that stuff."

In his first at-bat Wednesday, Ryan got two fastballs out of seven pitches from C.J. Wilson, finally lifting a slider into left field for a sacrifice fly to score the first Mariners run.