Figgins to the Lead Off Spot?

marc w · February 19, 2012 at 11:49 pm · Filed Under Mariners 

The big story out of spring training today was the rumor that manager Eric Wedge would name Chone Figgins as the M’s lead-off man. As everyone’s sick of hearing, Figgins signed a four-year, $36 million contract in late 2009 and has produced at a replacement level rate (or below) for the past two seasons. Over 1,000 plate appearances in an M’s uniform, Figgins has produced a .236/.309/.285 batting line – that’s good for -33 batting runs by baseball-reference or -31 by Fangraphs. This isn’t a resume that cries out for more plate appearance, but the M’s may believe that he can recapture the success he had in an Angels uniform by batting in the lead-off spot.

Last year of course the idea was that Chone’s 2010 struggles were caused by the mental angst of moving from 3B to 2B, and moving back to his 2009 position would help him recover his 2009 hitting stroke. Instead, Figgins slumped to a .188/.241/.243 line in 81 games before the team called the mercy rule on his season. Will a shift in line-up position help where a shift in defensive position wouldn’t? Jeff Sullivan’s got some data to suggest that it won’t. So why WOULD the M’s not only tab Figgins as a starter (as opposed to a super-sub, which would utilize his defensive flexibility more than his now-questionable bat) but as a possible lead-off man? Is it a backdoor attempt to motivate Ichiro by replacing him in the #1 spot with someone who was, by almost any measure, the worst hitter in the league last year? Does Wedge honestly believe that this assignment would spur Figgins to improve – and if so, is Anthony Vasquez a possibility for a spot in the opening day rotation?

Whatever the reason, long-time M’s fans know that these sorts of counter-intuitive line-up moves come with the territory. The names of the players change, as do the names of those making the decisions, but it seems like there’s a perplexing you’re-so-bad-we-have-to-promote-you shake-up every few years. If you’re new to the team, here are a few of the biggest head-scratchers in Martiner history.

1: In late 2004, the M’s suddenly moved sullen and underperforming 3B Scott Spiezio to the 2nd position, a spot he began the year in but relinquished by hitting .209/.283/.350 through August. He played once in early September, then missed several games, then started again in his old line-up spot. New manager Bob Melvin never discussed his reasoning with reporters at the time, but years later he came clean in an informal chat session with reporters during spring training (while managing Arizona): “Guy just wouldn’t stop. He wouldn’t say anything, but you could tell he was pissed off. He’d call me at night and play it, he’d play the CD in my office, finally came to my house with an ’80s-style boombox. Loud as hell. Like a butt-rock John Cusack, just standing outside my house, speakers blaring that.. what was it? Sandfrog? We were out of it, and by this point I swear as long as you wrote down Ichiro’s name first and Bucky Jacobsen’s name fourth, you could’ve put your mother 2nd and no one would bat an eye.”

2: In the waning days of a lost 1988 season, M’s manager Jim Snyder (who took over from Dick Williams half-way through the year) moved SS Rey Quinones from 9th to leadoff despite erratic play and an OBP in the .280s. “Talent has never been the issue with Rey. It’s more a matter of focus. If we can get Rey to watch the opposing pitcher and not all the distractions of a big-league park, then we feel we’ve got a guy who can spark some rallies,” said Snyder in September. “He got thrown out in Comiskey park last month because the ump thought he was arguing balls and strikes. Turns out, he was screaming at the jumbo-tron about the ‘Guess Today’s Attendance’ game. That’s what we’re dealing with here. But he can’t get distracted if there’s no time for distractions, so we want a bat in his hand before they show any highlights, bloopers or any of that.” It should be mentioned that the incumbent lead-off hitter was Harold Reynolds, who wasn’t an ideal lead-off hitter himself.

3: In one of the most celebrated personnel decisions in M’s franchise history, Jim Lefebvre stuck with 3B Jim Presley over minor-league sensation Edgar Martinez for the 1989 season, and even kept Presley in the clean-up spot despite a .635 OPS (and a .280 OBP) in 1987 and a .660 OPS (.275 OBP) in 1989. Presley’s production had fallen each year since 1985 and he got the plurality of his 1988 PAs from the 8 hole, but the M’s decided that hitting clean-up would prevent him from changing his swing (or from worrying about the heralded 3B tearing up Calgary). His manager gave Presley a vote of confidence in spring training: “Jimmy hits the ball a country mile. We’re gonna let him focus on driving pitches and not let him wonder where he’s going to be. In ’86 he hit 3rd/4th and he went to the All-Star game. If he can get back to that, this team’s going to be exciting.”

4: Shockingly, the Presley-to-Clean-Up move wasn’t the biggest surprise of the 1989 spring. Instead, it was Lefebvre’s tinkering with the starting rotation. Mark Langston was clearly the team’s ace, and they had decent youngsters behind him in Scott Bankhead (recently acquired from Kansas City) and Erik Hanson. But while Langston was quite good, Levebvre wondered if he couldn’t squeeze a win or two by moving his 5th starter to #1 and moving the rest of the starters back a day – the idea being that moving from a 40-45% chance of a win on opening day to a 15% chance was worth it if it meant increasing the odds for the next 3-4 days by 10% each. That meant Steve Trout, who’d the team picked up half-way through 1988 and who put up -2 WAR in one of the worst statistical seasons by an M’s starter, would get the opening day nod against Dave Stewart in Oakland. The M’s pitching coach, Mike Paul, wasn’t sold on the idea, and the team itself hated “punting” the first game of the year, so it ultimately didn’t happen. There were rumors that this perceived slight was the last straw for Langston, who informed the team that he’d never re-sign with them. By late May, Langston was traded to Montreal, though Trout (somehow) lasted until June 12th.

5: In strike-shortened 1981, the M’s were off to a horrible 6-17 start and Maury Wills decided to shake things up by naming himself the lead-off hitter. In a rambling, often profane, press conference, Wills listed the team’s ills and singled out Julio Cruz (hitting under .180 at the time) for abuse. Pacing the room, rubbing his nose and occasionally breaking into a mocking impression of M’s CF Joe Simpson, Wills decided that, “Since none of these $#@%ers can get on base, I’ll do it myself.” Wills was only 48, so it wasn’t as outlandish as it sounds, and he attempted to prove he still had his famous speed by sprinting through the assembled reporters. He gave Cruz one more chance on May 5th and the M’s fired him that evening – before he could put his bizarre plan into action.

What do these line-up moves/purported moves tell us? First, that the M’s have fielded some bad teams over the years. Second, that moving a player around rarely accomplishes much; hitting clean-up didn’t save Jim Presley, and Scott Spiezio/Rey Quinones were so far beyond help that moving the batting order around seems, at least in retrospect, to miss the point completely. Does this necessarily mean that moving Figgins to lead-off is a bad idea? No, the plural of anecdote isn’t “data” and if Figgins truly believes that he can’t get comfortable batting second, he may actually hit better somewhere else. From a statistical point of view, it seems crazy to give more plate appearances to a man with a PECOTA-projected .645 OPS (below Ichiro, Ackley, Seager, etc.). Clearly, that’s not the only perspective available to the team, and if Wedge and the M’s want to use psychology to build the line-up, that’s their right. I could imagine that any benefit this move would have in restoring Figgins’ confidence might be counterbalanced by the sense that the team is handing out benefits to players who haven’t yet earned them. We’ll see.


37 Responses to “Figgins to the Lead Off Spot?”

  1. PackBob on February 20th, 2012 1:42 am

    I think you’d have to throw in there the contract and that the Mariners are very unlikely to contend this year. Even so, based on Wedge’s comments that he’s going to be looking at performance this year, if Figgens doesn’t show improvement early on, Wedge would almost have to change things around or chance losing respect for what he says.

  2. samregens on February 20th, 2012 3:14 am

    Wedge made me suspicious of him by his insistence to trot out Peguero so much last year.

    If he tries to give Figgins more ABs than Ichiro this would be the final straw.

    (By the way, great compilation, Marc. A lot of Twilight Zone stories in there. Thanks.)

  3. bongo on February 20th, 2012 6:20 am

    Since there appears to be no statistical justification for this decision, perhaps we should look for another explanation — an effort to “showcase” Figgins in a last-ditch attempt to resuscitate trade interest, prior to DFA’ing him.

  4. djw on February 20th, 2012 7:06 am

    I’m pretty much in denial about this. I think bongo’s explanation makes the most sense–hoping against hope that a couple of good months might allow them to get out of some of the remaining contract. But it seems so absurdly improbable, and such a painful-to-watch waste.

  5. frontstreetfan on February 20th, 2012 8:02 am

    Figgins MLB career BABIP is .329, in 2011 it was and incredible .215. In 2012 It’s worth a shot (75 to 125 plate appearances) in the leadoff spot as a RHB platooning with Seager at 3rd and a utility role as a reserve OF. Although his career BA is somewhat better as a LHB his overall career BABIP is not significantly lower as a RHB. This allows the Mariners the flexibility of inserting Seager into the lineup vs RHP. Ackley would then leadoff vs Right Handed pitchers. Figgins BABIP should improve to at least the ML avg. as It’s hard to imagine two yrs at .215. a 100 plate appearance platoon sample should reveal the trend line.

  6. The Ancient Mariner on February 20th, 2012 8:16 am

    Batting Figgins leadoff is meaningless, I’m sure. That said, his collapse is inexplicable to me, so I’m hoping that somehow we’ll see an inexplicable recovery; ordinarily the very idea would be too ridiculous to entertain, but since his career has already entered the realm of the non-rational, it seems consistent to hope for an equally non-rational shift in the opposite direction.

  7. Sports on a Schtick on February 20th, 2012 8:25 am

    I’m surprisingly fine with this. Figgins still can take a pitch and has speed. Seager is better off being down in the order and Ackley would be an ideal #2.

    When Chone came over I always thought he should bat first. Guess now we’ll finally see it.

  8. greentunic on February 20th, 2012 8:44 am

    One thing is for certain, SOMETHING happened to Figgins once he started playing with the Mariners. I’m not against trying one more remedy to fix things, as long as we limit the damage if he’s performing poorly.

    If he’s still not performing after three weeks, we move him in the lineup or bench him, IMO.

  9. eponymous coward on February 20th, 2012 9:27 am

    Figgins MLB career BABIP is .329, in 2011 it was and incredible .215. In 2012 It’s worth a shot (75 to 125 plate appearances) in the leadoff spot as a RHB platooning with Seager at 3rd and a utility role as a reserve OF

    I don’t think this is going to happen. If they install Figgins in the leadoff spot, it will be as the everyday 3B (with the occasional spot duty in the OF or 2B), and Seager will be the new Willie Bloomquist.

    Also, there’s a perfectly logical reason why Figgins might not bounce back: he’s 34. There are plenty of MLB players who end up done at that age. Look at his comps:

    As a group, they hit well below their career OPS after age 33. So even if Figgins bounces back to where his comps were as a group (and keep in mind a number of his comps RETIRED- that inflates the numbers, since had the players that retired come back, the group would have likely had worse performance), realistically, we’re looking at a well sub-.700 OPS, well below what a MLB average leadoff hitter hits. This is also where other projection systems are putting him.

    I see no need to rehabilitate a 34 year old player on a year where you’re not contending anyway. Give Seager the lion’s share of ABs and let Figgins be the new Willie Bloomquist, or dump him.

    Figgins still can take a pitch and has speed.

    Actually, you know what he’s not doing? Walking. His BB % has gone from 13.9% (2009) to 10.5% (2010) to 6.9% (2011), and his steals went down last year, too.

    It’s pretty possible this ends pretty badly. It’s already hard to score runs in Safeco in April: it’s cold and it’s Safeco. Starting out the year with a guy whose history with the M’s is making outs, at the top of the order, in a position to make the most outs possible… ugh. Really, does the team want to have another April where they don’t score runs and the fanbase tunes them out yet again? This is what they are asking for.

    But hey, go Mariners! Pretend the sunk costs fallacy doesn’t exist!

  10. Leroy Stanton on February 20th, 2012 9:33 am

    Enjoyable bit of history there, Marc.

    I don’t think the M’s have anything to lose by giving Figgins every chance to succeed… in spring training. If that means telling an overly emotional ballplayer what he needs to hear, then so be it. April is a different story and we’ll just have to wait and see.

  11. MrZDevotee on February 20th, 2012 9:48 am

    I think of it more as “sink or swim”, which I prefer much moreso than the purgatory of Carlos Silva, which was like parking a $200,000 Lambourghini in your front yard, up on blocks, and watching all your neighbors smirk as they drive past…

    Or maybe instead of “sink or swim” it’s more like “heaven or hell”? Either way, you give him one more chance, and then really, there’s nothing left to say, by him or to him.

    You had your final chance. And you’re either helping now, finally, in which case “thank you!” or you’re still not helping, in which case– “ba-bye”.

    (Also from what Wedge has said, I don’t think they’re viewing him as an ‘everyday’ 3B… Sounds more like a situation where he plays 4 out of every 5 days, probably 2-3 of them at 3B, then he’ll give a couple other guys a day off at other positions. He’s still a utility guy from what Wedge has said, just in a sort of “starting most days” sort of way (with the regular he’s replacing THEN the “super sub” for late in games).

    ((Double “also”- I really think this is simply the last hurrah for Figgins… He’s been shouting “I can still swim… I can still swim!” and this is the M’s way of nodding “sure”, then tossing him off the boat and watching him “glub, glub, glub” his way to the bottom… It’s not like 3B is locked up, or LF for that matter, so he just happens to be on one of the only teams where a 3rd chance is actually possible… I mean, nothing to lose, right? Except for $18 million dollars.))

  12. roosevelt on February 20th, 2012 9:50 am

    Call it counter intuitive, pure madness, fool hardiness or call it what it is… typical Mariner organization folly.

    From my perspective, Figgin’s “retired” after he got his lucrative new contract. It happens.

    Spring training stats can be fools gold. Like last year when Figgy batted somewhere in the neighborhood of .370. We know what came next, when the real season started.

    Good luck M’s! Perhaps, next, you can try him as a relief pitcher?

  13. Edgar4Hall on February 20th, 2012 9:56 am

    “Figgins MLB career BABIP is .329, in 2011 it was and incredible .215. In 2012 It’s worth a shot (75 to 125 plate appearances) in the leadoff spot”

    Jeff at LL did a great piece on this last year showing Figgins’ spray chart for the past few years. Before, his hits dropped because he was able to drive a few. Now almost all are popups which illustrates a dramatic decrease in ability. This is the frightening part to me. Just use him as speed off the bench, an extra utility guy and see if Seager can do well. I mean, I know its not like what Marc said about Edgar and Presley (by the way, great piece, really fun yet depressing as an M’s fan to read)but it does have a few similarities and in a rebuilding year, let the kid show his stuff.

  14. tylerv on February 20th, 2012 10:03 am

    Often “the big story out of spring training” turns out not to matter by May with this team. They will be out of it by May or June, vets will get benched or the can, new guys get plugged in. Talk of next year commences.

  15. Johnny Slick on February 20th, 2012 10:31 am

    Yeah, this doesn’t really make me shout and gnash my teeth. Sure, it probably won’t work out (and the declining walk rate concerns me a lot more than the triple slash itself) but I guess it could and in the end, trying this probably won’t be the thing that keeps this team out of the playoffs this year or prevents Seager from moving forward as a hitter.

    As for the sunk cost thing, yes there is such a thing as the sunk cost fallacy but it doesn’t quite apply here because Figgins’ contract could presumably be eaten by someone else if he started to play well again. Sure, it’s not likely but it could happen. Milton Bradley’s contract last year was a much better example of a sunk cost – even if he did start playing better, there was just plain no way anyone else was going to take him on, so one way or the other his salary was going to stay on the Mariners’ books no matter what. If Figgins demonstrates after a couple hundred at bats this year that he’s just not going to hit anymore (looking at this statistically; I imagine a scout or a coach could make this same observation in fewer plate appearances from how he looks at the plate), then sure, his contract turns into a completely sunk cost as well. I’d agree that it’s very close to being one right now.

  16. Westside guy on February 20th, 2012 10:33 am

    Wait – I assumed Marc was pulling our collective legs with these past “examples”. But so far no “ha, ha, great writing Marc” comments.

    Is the Melvin story about Spezio actually true? Google’s coming up empty.

    (And did MrZ really just compare Carlos Silva to a Lambourghini?)

  17. eponymous coward on February 20th, 2012 11:03 am

    As for the sunk cost thing, yes there is such a thing as the sunk cost fallacy but it doesn’t quite apply here because Figgins’ contract could presumably be eaten by someone else if he started to play well again.

    You’re not understanding what a sunk cost is.

    A sunk cost means you’ve made a decision (you bought a ticket for Leonard Part 6, you’re paying Chone Figgins 36 million from 2010-2013), and now you’re stuck with it.

    The sunk cost fallacy is using that decision as justification for other decisions (you’re going to see the movie anyway even though you know it’s terrible, you’re going to play Chone Figgins in leadoff despite him being the worst hitter in MLB with more than 300 PAs last year, in hopes that you’ll find someone motivated by greater fool theory to trade for him).

    Chone Figgins isn’t likely to be a useful player on the next good Mariners team (and it’s not very clear he’ll be useful now- his comps aren’t encouraging). If 2012 isn’t about contending, it needs to be about finding the best players for the next good Mariners team while being as good as possible in the interim. There’s no real reason to give a bunch of plate appearances to Figgins over Seager in hopes to increase his trade value, given that the odds he’d have significant value in trade are very small (even being optimistic and projecting him as a ~1.5 WAR super utility player on a good team for 2013, he’d still make 9 million in 2013, which is a stupid amount of money to pay a utility player to chip in 1.5 WAR), and especially given that Seager has every indication of being as good a player as Figgins is RIGHT NOW… with the advantage that Seager might actually BE a contributor to the next good Mariners team, given that he is young and cost-controlled.

    And exactly what message does it send to your kids when you have a veteran who was one of the worst players in baseball the last two years get handed a job based on his paycheck, if we’re going into the “clubhouse chemistry” side of things? The same veteran who helped get a manager fired because he started a clubhouse fight when the manager pulled him for jaking it?

  18. Zeke on February 20th, 2012 11:21 am

    I say it is worth a try, because why not. Now, is Ichiro! going to be OK with not hitting 1st, or will he now suffer from anxiety and discomfort hitting in the 3-spot and put up a 0.250 OBP?
    Personally, in a season that really generates little to no excitement, these little story lines will have to suffice.

  19. eponymous coward on February 20th, 2012 11:26 am

    Let’s bat Felix leadoff. Because why not?

  20. ck on February 20th, 2012 12:21 pm

    If the Yankees signed a free agent to a four year deal, and got the same production as Figgins in the first two years, they would have already DFA’d the loser. The M’s have invested money (poorly) and Jack Z is hoping against hope that he can salvage something from his poor choice (Figgins). One way or another, It will have all played out by the First of May ( or whatever date Brad Wilkerson was released )

  21. Mariners35 on February 20th, 2012 12:23 pm

    This is figgin silly. Inmates running the asylum again. And it’s fitting somehow that it’s Muckraker Baker who broke the story.

  22. goat on February 20th, 2012 12:32 pm

    I think there is a reasonable chance that he could end up being just bad instead of terrible, and if things break well for him, he could probably top out at mediocre. So there is a nonzero chance that he could play himself into something perhaps as high as $3M of salary relief over the next two years in some sort of trade. That’s worth something, and the downside of trying him out for a few weeks to see if it takes off might not be all that bad in a rebuilding year. But there’s also a nonzero chance that making that kind of move could affect all sorts of things that sabermetrics isn’t prepared to measure very well. But just because they can’t be measured doesn’t mean we all have to ignore them.

  23. JoshJones on February 20th, 2012 12:52 pm

    Seems like a no brainer to me. Nobody expects us to compete for a playoff spot so why not see if Figgins can regain some value. If he does then we could potentially get someone to eat the rest of his contract or even just a portion. If he sucks then maybe we trade him for a B prospect and pay the rest of his salary OR just buy him out.

    Figgins, Ackley, Ichiro, Smoak, Montero….meh who knows.. it could work.

  24. MrZDevotee on February 20th, 2012 1:25 pm

    “The M’s have invested money (poorly) and Jack Z is hoping against hope that he can salvage something from his poor choice (Figgins).”

    This is pretty easy hindsight. And the most dangerous type of revisionist history… (If you’re a Russian, America was about to blow up the USSR between 1950 and 1985, if you were American, the Russians were about to blow up America between 1950 and 1985.)

    It was neither a poor investment, nor a poor choice at the time. In a perfect world, yes, Z has the ability to see into the future and find out that Figgins will NEVER AGAIN put up anything close to his season averages, much less his excellent final season in Anaheim.

    I thought $9 million was a little steep, but I was happy with the trade at the time… Lee and Figgins were going to really put us into contention.

    It’s not that hard to say a decision back then was a “poor choice” two years into it. If anything, the fact that we all hate the deal so much now is a DIRECT RESULT of the how much more we expected to recoup out of it over the 4 years- hence the massive disappointment today.

  25. MrZDevotee on February 20th, 2012 1:27 pm

    Lambourghini with a BLOWN ENGINE is what I was saying… On blocks in the front yard.

    (How sad is it that Carlos was actually worth about 50 Lambourghini’s the last couple years of his contract… Heck, M’s could have had a better return just giving 1 away every home game the last season he was in Seattle…)

  26. stevemotivateir on February 20th, 2012 1:46 pm

    ^Silva had an appearance (and the durability) more comparable to a Ford Pinto!

  27. Paul B on February 20th, 2012 1:57 pm

    I will be disgusted if I pay to see a baseball game, and Figgins is leading off and Olivo is cleanup.

    I have not been impressed with Wedge’s lineup decisions, to say the least.

  28. eponymous coward on February 20th, 2012 2:21 pm

    The biggest problem I have? Any value in the scenario all based on that famed temptress, Rosey Scenario.

    “Sexson has just had one bad year, let’s try him again…”

    “Oh, Junior can still be productive as a DH…”

    “Oh, maybe Milton Bradley still has a little bit left in the tank, no harm seeing if he can perform. Maybe he’ll have some trade value at the deadline if he does really well!”

    It gets excruciating seeing the front office and coaching staff say the same things, over and over again, with different players, telling us, hey, maybe it will be different THIS time, Charlie Brown, I’ll hold the football.

  29. stevemotivateir on February 20th, 2012 4:50 pm

    ^ I agree. When someone has a bad year, then follows it with a worse year, what are the odds of them rebounding? Especially when they’re arguably past their prime. I’m guessing slim to none.

  30. olystuart on February 20th, 2012 5:31 pm

    Disclaimer: my source for this info is Geoff Baker. That said,
    “So, Figgins flew to New York for an MRI and it was detertmined he had a labrum tear.

    “The way it was explained to me was that it’s a piece of muscle that it got torn,” Figgins said. “And it kept getting caught in the socket in the hip. And then, it would pop back out.”

    Painfully, each time. With lingering effects.”
    My first thought was ‘it wasn’t just his speed that was bad.’ So I certainly wouldn’t look at this like Smoak’s thumbs. However, in the same article there’s a quote where Figgins claims he does not try to be patient when batting out of the leadoff spot, and when batting leadoff will show a more patient approach. I’m just as squeamish to see Figgins pick up increased PAs this spring as the rest of you but I can also see a scenario where he takes a few more pitches and hits a few balls harder because he can put his hips into his swing without fear of the muscle popping out, and is at least useful. We’ll see, though. Ugh.

  31. Dennisss on February 20th, 2012 6:13 pm

    Westside guy, I’m with you. I’m thinking the quotes under points 1. and 2. are made up, 3. sounds just dumb enough to be a real quote. I guess all the examples actually happened.

    If so, just enough of a mix of real and surreal to keep you guessing.

  32. gwangung on February 20th, 2012 6:32 pm

    Yeah, this smacks of something you when you’ve exhausted every single other logical thing to do.

  33. swershow on February 20th, 2012 7:10 pm

    wonderful article. great glimpse in the storied history of mariner ineptitude. we may lose, but at least we find creative ways to do it.

  34. Johnny Slick on February 20th, 2012 7:57 pm

    I’m well aware of what sunk cost is, thanks. My point was that if Figgins has a good start – it’s not a great cance but it could happen – the Mariners could still unload some of that salary. Probably not all of it but there is a portion that could conceivably retrieved, if only just.

  35. Brantid on February 21st, 2012 3:26 am

    It was happening….the last week I was reading and getting excited…Smoak was hurt…he’ll be the bat all season that he was at the start and end of last year…..Guti has put on weight, and it is muscle not fat…surely he’ll be back to where he was in 2009…Wells vertigo is GONE! He will be amazing….Seager has a new swing! More compact….

    All the stories of pitchers and hitters…of watching Montero’s first BP, etc. I was BUYING all of it….

    Then this. Nope…Seattle Mariner’s marketing machine you pushed it way to far. You didn’t stick a toe over the line, you jumped over, did a little dance and then mooned me…..News of Seager potentially being the “Odd man out” at third, and of Figgins being penciled in is too much…far far far too much. I can handle watching “the kids play” to “see what we got.” I am excited about it.

    Figgins starting at 3rd and batting lead off takes the M’s from a team I am getting excited about to almost unwatchable. I hope I am wrong, but I’ll be checking box scores to find out if I am or not…

  36. downwarddog on February 21st, 2012 9:14 am

    The only place Figgins should be hitting in the line-up is in Tacoma.

  37. Badbadger on February 22nd, 2012 10:36 am

    I agree wih Eponymous, there is no good reason to let Figgins block Seager. I really don’t want to watch his lame act anymore and there’s no real chance anyone is going to take his contract off our hands. It is much better to play some one millions of dollars to sit at home and watch TV than to pay them to kill your offense.

    Another point- with Figgins on the bench he can be used as a back-up outfielder if necessary, but Seager doesn’t play outfield. The only concievable value Figgins has left is in his versitility.

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