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News » Seattle Mariners Inside Pitch 2008-12-22

Seattle Mariners Inside Pitch 2008-12-22

Seattle Mariners Inside Pitch 2008-12-22
New manager Don Wakamatsu is thinking through ways to make the Mariners better in 2009.

One thing he's at least considering is moving second baseman Jose Lopez to first base. Lopez played 13 games there last year, most of which came in September.

The second baseman said at the time that he didn't want to move to first base on a regular basis, but Wakamatsu has yet to talk to him about it since taking over as manager from Jim Riggleman.

Wakamatsu said one way to improve from a 101-loss season in 2008 is to play better defense. If the Mariners came up with a well-above-average glove man at second, that would allow Lopez to move to first base, even though he doesn't have classic first baseman offensive potential.

"The fact is that we have to catch more groundballs," Wakamatsu said. "It's a way to get better."

It won't be as easy a move as all that, however, and having Lopez at first base seems unlikely to happen on a regular basis. First baseman/designated hitter Russell Branyan and catcher/DH Jeff Clement need playing time, too, and if Clement is at DH, then Branyan probably would be forced to play first base.

Author:Fox Sports
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Added: December 22, 2008

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