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Chone Figgins is moving back to third base for the Mariners

Jan 7, 2011, 1:07 PM EDT

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Last offseason the Mariners signed Chone Figgins and moved him to second base, a position he hadn’t played regularly since 2005.

It didn’t go well, as Figgins compounded his disappointing production at the plate by struggling defensively, with Ultimate Zone Rating pegging him as 12.3 runs below average.

Not surprisingly, with 2010 third baseman Jose Lopez traded to the Rockies and top second base prospect Dustin Ackley on the verge of the majors the Mariners have decided to shift Figgins back to third base.

The shift has been assumed since Seattle acquired Brendan Ryan last month to presumably keep second base warm until Ackley is ready, and general manager Jack Zduriencik told Kirby Arnold of the Everett Herald that he recently informed Figgins of the move.

Figgins at third base with Ryan at second base and Jack Wilson at shortstop is an elite defensive infield, although it won’t do much to help improve the Mariners’ historically awful offense. Ackley’s arrival should do that, at which point Ryan will likely shift into a utility role or split time with Wilson at shortstop.

  1. aaronmoreno - Jan 7, 2011 at 2:05 PM

    I never get how some people think that a player can go back to a position he played years ago. He was younger, thinner, and had reps back then.

    Strangely, I see this in the pros, with Berkman going back to the outfield, and with fans, who think that A-Rod or Pedroia can ever go back to short.

    • clydeserra - Jan 7, 2011 at 3:35 PM

      Yeah, on Berkman, Pedroia and a-rod, but Figgins is one year removed, and 3rd is hardly more demanding than 2nd.

    • Detroit Michael - Jan 7, 2011 at 4:53 PM

      Figgins only had a one-year absence from third base, so that’s not too problematic. I’m a bit skeptical about the Youkilis to 3B move though.

      • aaronmoreno - Jan 7, 2011 at 5:59 PM

        Sorry, with Figgy I was talking about his move to second, not back to third.

  2. spudchukar - Jan 7, 2011 at 2:23 PM

    I hope the Mariners don’t waste Brenden Ryan at second base. He is the best defensive shortstop in the game. Maybe they plan on moving Wilson?

  3. spudchukar - Jan 7, 2011 at 2:25 PM

    By moving I meant trading. The last thing the Mariners need to be concentrating on is defense. How are they going to score?

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