06/07/10 9:29 PM ET
Seattle shuffles lineup, moves Figgins to No. 9
By Todd Wills / Special to MLB.com
For the first time all season, second baseman Chone Figgins was not batting behind leadoff hitter Ichiro Suzuki, but basically in front of him as the No. 9 hitter.
Mike Carp was promoted from Triple-A Tacoma earlier Monday to replace the injured Mike Sweeney (lower back inflammation) and was in the starting lineup instead of Casey Kotchman and batting fifth.
Figgins, who has struggled most of the season, was the most curious move. He went 8-for-24 during the just-completed homestand and had a six-game hitting streak from May 28 to last Wednesday. He was batting .294 over his last 19 games, improving his batting average from .182 to .220.
Asked Monday whether he was swinging the bat better, Figgins said, "Apparently not," eluding to where he was hitting in the batting order.
Wakamatsu said the coaching staff was looking to change things up by dropping Figgins down to the No. 9 spot in the order.
"We've had some stretches where we've swung the bat pretty good," Wakamatsu said. "This gives us an opportunity [to switch things up]. Figgins has been swinging the bat better lately. He's going to continue to work on it. He's a great player. He's going to end up having decent numbers when it's all said and done."
The Mariners' manager also said he was trying to get Milton Bradley going by batting him second.
"We're looking at it more at maybe trying to get Milton in that two-hole and give him more at-bats," Wakamatsu said. "And that still puts us where we have two leadoff men back-to-back. So it's a broader picture than just him hitting ninth. [Figgins] has swung the bat pretty good lately. It's something we just want to switch it up a little."
Wakamatsu said dropping Figgins down is not an indictment of the second baseman. It's the first time he's batted ninth since 2007 with the Los Angeles Angels.
"It's not a knock on Figgie," Wakamatsu said. "Figgie's a good player. He's a guy we know has gone through some struggles and he's worked extremely hard lately. It's not just pointing a finger at him. It's if we can get more production out of the whole lineup."
Carp starts right away after callup
ARLINGTON -- First baseman Mike Carp got the callup to the Major Leagues on Monday and was in the starting lineup, batting fifth behind third baseman Jose Lopez.
Carp, who got off to a slow start at Triple-A Tacoma, has been on a tear of late, batting .352 with five home runs and 15 RBIs in his last 19 games. The hot streak raised his batting average from .185 to .250 for the season, so it's been a big turnaround for the 23-year-old, who played 21 games for the Mariners last season.
"It happens," Carp said of his slow start. "Players go through slumps. Unfortunately, it happened to me at the beginning of the year."
Carp said his turnaround started on, of all things, a sacrifice bunt that turned into a base hit. And his hot streak got him to Texas, where Seattle manager Don Wakamatsu told him Monday he'll play regularly, even with veteran Casey Kotchman on the roster.
"He said I'm going to play," Carp said. "I'm going to do what I do."
Kotchman did have a hit in Sunday's loss to the Angels, but he's still batting only .132 (12-for-91) in his past 24 games.
"It gives Casey a chance to work on things," Wakamatsu said, "and gives him a chance to get his swing where he feels comfortable with it."
Shortstop Jack Wilson (right hamstring strain) was slated to play at least five innings in the first game of a doubleheader for Triple-A Tacoma on Monday night. Manager Don Wakamatsu said Wilson could play all seven innings and then start again Tuesday for Tacoma. ... Catcher Adam Moore (subluxed left fibula) will spend Tuesday in Arizona and will be the designated hitter in an extended spring game and then head to Tacoma to start a rehab assignment. "He's feeling real good," Wakamatsu said. ... Left-hander Erik Bedard (left shoulder) threw 40 pitches in a bullpen session on Monday with no problems at all, Wakamatsu said. Bedard will throw another bullpen session Thursday.
Todd Wills is a contributor to MLB.com. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.