MINNEAPOLIS -- Mariners shortstop Brendan Ryan won't ever be known for his bat, but the defensive standout hit .345 over his past 16 games entering Saturday against the Twins to lift his batting average from .122 to .214. In Saturday's 5-4 walk-off loss, Ryan went 1-for-4, and is now hitting .215.
And after batting .194 in 2012, it's a very positive trend for the 31-year-old, who says he's developing a more positive approach at the plate.
"I don't think I had a choice," Ryan said after going 2-for-4 in Friday's 3-0 win. "There was nowhere to go but up for a while there. Yeah, there was some mechanical stuff in the cage and all that. That's half of it. But the other half is just willing things to happen and believing and knowing that you're a whole lot better than a buck-twenty."
Ryan said he's taken a cue from veteran teammate Raul Ibanez on his mental attitude after driving himself crazy with frustration at times in the past.
"It's just willing things to change," he said. "If it's a broken-bat hit or a drag bunt, whatever it is, just get something to start snowballing. And then when you're believing in yourself, good things can happen. Nobody displays that any better than Raul.
"He made an example of Derek Jeter, saying this guy would will people to collide and have infield doubles, just crazy stuff would happen. The point was, he's got a positive mindset and believes good things are going to happen and good things do happen.
"Employing some of that has kind of helped. That and [manager Eric Wedge] staying with me and giving me opportunity after opportunity, you want to make good of it. I want to do what he expects of me, and I know he expected a whole lot more. And I did it myself. We've still got a long way to go, but things are on the right track, and at this point I'm just trying to compete and put good swings on the ball and swing at the good ones."
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.