Figgins heats up at plate, in field

Figgins heats up at plate, in field

Figgins heats up at plate, in field
PEORIA, Ariz. -- Chone Figgins went 2-for-3 with an RBI and also made an excellent backhanded stop at shortstop in Sunday's rain-shortened Cactus League game with the Rockies. The veteran is continuing to tune up for a versatile role with the Mariners this season.

Figgins got off to a slow start at the plate, but is now batting .250. He said he's getting his timing back, after missing the last couple of months of the 2011 season.

"The last 4-5 games, even the 'B' game, I've been swinging the bat well," said the 34-year-old. "It's starting to come around. For me, it's more of a timing thing. I didn't play much last year, so obviously it was going to be a little slow getting back into it. But my eye is still there. My plate discipline is good. I'm starting to put some good swings on it."

Manager Eric Wedge has committed to batting Figgins in the leadoff spot to start the season, but is still working on where he'll fit defensively. Kyle Seager continues having a nice spring at third base, hitting his third home run of Cactus League play on Sunday. But Figgins can play there, as well as shortstop, second or in the outfield.

Figgins played his third game at short on Sunday, and his backhanded stop of a hard shot by Colorado's Chris Nelson in the fourth inning was a good sign.

"He's done a nice job everywhere he's been," Wedge said. "And he's putting up nice at-bats. He's had a lot of hard outs this spring. He did a good job with two strikes today, dumping that ball into left field for an RBI.

"He enjoys playing. I don't think he's too concerned with where he's playing, he just enjoys playing and it really helps us out, the fact he is that versatile. With [Franklin Gutierrez] and his injury and Brendan Ryan banged up, we've played him all over the place and will continue to do so."

Figgins said shortstop is the toughest position for him to play, but he welcomes every opportunity. He filled a similar utility role with the Angels when he was starting out in the Majors.

"[Wedge] said I'm going to play wherever," Figgins said. "That's what got me to the big leagues and I did well with it, so I'm all for it."