ARLINGTON -- After getting off to a quick start with the bat this season, Mariners shortstop Brendan Ryan has seen his production plummet in the past 10 games and was replaced by Robert Andino in the starting lineup for Friday's series opener against the Rangers.
Ryan was hitting .357 through his first five starts, but has since gone 2-for-28 to see that number fall to .167. Ryan is an outstanding defender, but the Mariners feel he's a much better hitter than the .194 he posted last season.
"He should be our best bunter," said manager Eric Wedge. "He's got to get the bunt down. We just need him to turn the corner. We've talked about it before. He gets in his own way too much. He has to get beyond that somehow."
Thus Andino's appearance on Friday. The veteran utility infielder is hitting just .154 himself (4-for-26), though he went 2-for-3 on Thursday when he started at third base for Kyle Seager.
"I want to get Robert in there a little more," Wedge said. "He did some things yesterday and Ryan has had his struggles. So I'm just trying to put the best team out there right now. To help get Robert on track, we've got to play him a little more."