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Brendan Ryan, Jack Wilson, And The First Potential Story Of The Spring

As you can imagine, there hasn't been a ton of news coming out of Mariners camp this weekend. Ichiro spoke to the media and joked around with Jack Cust, which is nice, and the team took batting practice in strong winds that knocked some balls over the wall for the first time since 2006, but there has yet to be much of real substance. Fortunately, that may be changing. Tweets Greg Johns:

Eric Wedge says Brendan Ryan to get lots of work at SS in competition with Jack Wilson, who will work some at 2B for first time.

This isn't a jarring concept in the same vein as Jose Lopez and Chone Figgins a year ago, but it's still interesting to hear. Our assumption for a while has been that Jack Wilson would open the year at short, Brendan Ryan would open the year at second, and then the team would figure something out once Dustin Ackley is ready to be promoted.

That may not be so certain, though. Ryan took some reps at short yesterday, and here we have Wedge speaking on the matter. Ryan and Wilson will be in competition. And, to me, that's sensible. Both Ryan and Wilson are excellent defensive shortstops with limited (or zero) experience at second, but one of them stands to be around for a while, where the other's approaching the end of days. Why mess around with the potential building block if you don't have to? One could argue it's better to risk inconveniencing the veteran on his last legs than the younger guy with room to grow.

Then there's the matter of Wilson having to prove his health, since he's played just 92 of 223 games since coming over from Pittsburgh.

The M's may still open the year with Wilson at short and Ryan at second. It's far too early to make a prediction. But starting with Ryan at short and Wilson at second is possible, as is starting with Ryan at short and Adam Kennedy at second. Nothing's going to be handed to Brendan Ryan, but nothing's going to be handed to Jack Wilson either, and we probably oughtn't assume anything. There are a lot of different paths this middle infield situation could take.