Ryan's role remains secure despite hitting woes

Ryan's role remains secure despite hitting woes

SEATTLE -- While Brendan Ryan has continued to struggle offensively and his batting average had dropped to .128 going into Sunday's series finale with the A's, manager Eric Wedge said he's not giving up on the veteran shortstop.

While Ryan has seen shared playing time the last few weeks with Robert Andino, Wedge said there's no reason to think he's nearing the end of his rope with the 31-year-old defensive wizard.

"I just think once we get everybody else going, he'll come along and be better himself," Wedge said. "The difference he makes is real. But he's not the difference between us being a good offensive club and not. That's where people put their focus in the wrong direction.

"He's not going to be the difference maker [offensively]. The difference maker is everybody else. He needs to be a contributor. But where he's a difference maker is defensively. And when you have players who are difference makers, you keep them. Whether it be offensively, defensively, on the basepaths, starting pitching, bullpen, whatever it may be. He's a difference maker defensively. We need everybody else offensively to do their job and for him to be a contributor."

Greg Johns is a reporter for MLB.com. Follow him on Twitter @GregJohnsMLB as well as his Mariners Musings blog. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.