Figgins getting his shot at regular playing time

Figgins getting his shot at regular playing time

Figgins getting his shot at regular playing time
PEORIA, Ariz. -- Mariners manager Eric Wedge isn't ready to say yet how he wants to set his lineup early in the spring, but the second-year skipper indicated on Sunday that it's critical to let players like Chone Figgins know their expected roles as early as possible.

Wedge seems to be leaning toward giving Figgins a legitimate shot to resurrect his career in the leadoff role, where he excelled while with the Angels.

"I think it's important," Wedge said of giving Figgins an early indication of his expected role. "This will all play out here in the next couple days. I'm going to talk to a few of the guys. And as soon as I do, I'll talk to you guys."

Figgins was a 2009 American League All-Star, when he hit .298 with an excellent .395 on-base percentage and league-leading 101 walks, with 42 stolen bases to boot, but has struggled in the two seasons since after signing as a free-agent with the Mariners. With Seattle, he's hit second behind Ichiro Suzuki, who may be dropped to the second or third spot this season.

Figgins has worked with Kyle Seager at third base in the first two days of full camp, and will "get the bulk of his time" there, but will also see some action at second base, shortstop and in the outfield this spring, according to Wedge.

The manager said he sees a renewed spark from the 34-year-old Figgins, who hit just .188 in 81 games last season, and spent the final few months on the disabled list with a hip injury.

"He's got that glimmer in his eye, and a little hop in his step," Wedge said. "He's a real good person, he's a good baseball player. He's had a tough go of it for a couple years here and it's been hard on him, but the best thing he can do is just put that behind and learn from it. Take whatever he can from it and then come out and play ball.

"He's going to get an opportunity here," said Wedge. "He's only a couple years removed from being one of the more pesky hitters in the game. He's just tough. So it's nice to see him looking the way he's looking right now."