After a few weeks of switching Brendan Ryan and Jack Wilson back and forth in the middle infield, we were told recently that Eric Wedge and the were approaching a final decision as to which guy would serve as the regular shortstop. And in case you just completely missed the headline somehow, Wedge has confirmed on Tuesday morning that Ryan will play short, while Wilson will move to second base.
It's a surprising decision, in that Ryan has actually played second base in the Major Leagues, while Wilson has not. The more you think about it, though, the less surprising it really ought to be.
For one thing, while both positions are hard on the body, shortstop is the more demanding of the two, and Wilson has just missed so much time due to injuries. Moving him to second should in some small way help to keep him healthy.
For another thing, moving to second gives Wilson some additional versatility, which - when hopefully combined with better health - could make him look a little better come summer trade talks, when teams are desperate for veterans and help in the middle infield.
And thirdly, this draws a clear path for Dustin Ackley to come up in a month or two. If Ryan were playing second, he'd have to move to make room, which would be an inconvenience. With Ryan at short, though, there's just Wilson in the way, and Wilson is a 33-year-old who isn't a part of this organization's long-term future. When Ackley's ready, he can come right up and claim his position without making too many ripples.
So, we have a resolution. Last year, of course, is still fresh enough in all of our minds that we remember how the Chone Figgins/Jose Lopez position switch played out. We don't need another one of those. But this is just one of those situations where you have to defer to the people who've had their eyes on the field all spring. Jack Wilson and Brendan Ryan have each played both positions. After giving it a lot of thought, the team has decided that putting Ryan at short and Wilson at second gives them their best alignment. It seems to make sense based on the reasons above, and I'll trust them until or unless this somehow turns into a nightmare.