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Struggling Ryan sits as Wedge seeks answers

Struggling Ryan sits as Wedge seeks answers

Struggling Ryan sits as Wedge seeks answers
NEW YORK -- After an 0-for-4 night Friday that dropped his batting average to .149, Mariners shortstop Brendan Ryan found himself on the bench Saturday against the Yankees. And manager Eric Wedge sounded as if his patience is growing thin.

Utility infielder Munenori Kawasaki started Saturday at shortstop.

"He needs a day. I need a day," said Wedge. "We'll get Kawasaki in there against the right-hander, and then we'll see where we are tomorrow. I've been trying to give him every opportunity in that two-hole. He's been playing his you-know-what-off defensively.

"I'd prefer to have a right-hander between those two left-handers [Dustin Ackley and Ichiro Suzuki] or they'll just run right through you, but with [Chone] Figgins in a different role now, [Franklin] Gutierrez isn't here and Ryan not getting it done, my options are limited."

Ryan is a career .256 hitter but has yet to get going this season. He didn't get the ball out of the infield in four at-bats Friday, including a critical strikeout with the bases loaded and one out in the fifth during a 6-2 loss to the Yanks.

"He's got to be able to defend himself at home plate, which he didn't do last night," Wedge said. "He's got to be able to go up there and compete. You just can't be an out. You've got to do more than that."

Ryan's outstanding glove has kept him in the lineup, but Wedge said "there are limits to it" in regards to being an offensive liability. He declined to put a number on that, but acknowledged what he's seeing right now isn't cutting it.

"There's no reason he shouldn't be better than that, unless he's totally swimming in his own brain up there, making it more difficult for himself," said Wedge. "And that's exactly what he's doing right now.

"He's trying to spread out and see the ball and he's not seeing the ball. He's pulling off and not putting himself in a good position to cover the plate. He knows all this. He's not 25 years old. He's 30 years old. And it's time for him to figure out what he needs to do to be successful. I can't be any more honest than that."

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