ARLINGTON -- With utility infielder Luis Rodriguez still recovering from a cut on his right hand he suffered Thursday in Minnesota, rookie Kyle Seager was at shortstop again Saturday for the Mariners, with Alex Liddi as his backup.
Manager Eric Wedge said Rodriguez's hand was improving after being gashed in three places by the spikes of a sliding Danny Valencia of the Twins and would possibly be available if needed Saturday in reserve.
But Liddi, starting at third base against the Rangers in Saturday's game, remains the first option as the back up at shortstop.
"I haven't told him that yet, but yeah," Wedge said with a laugh.
The 6-foot-4, 220-pound Italian played 24 games at short for Triple-A Tacoma earlier this year.
As for Seager, Wedge is still getting a feel for how the 23-year-old can handle the position at the Major League level. Saturday was his sixth start at short after playing most of the season at second base in the Minors and third with Seattle.
He impressed the skipper with his adjustment on Friday. After failing to handle a hard-hit backhand deep in the hole by Nelson Cruz in the fourth, he made an excellent play on a similar one-hop scorcher by Adrian Beltre leading off the eighth.
"The first one, he kind of comes off a little quick with his eyes and misses it; the second one, he looks it in and makes a nice play," said Wedge. "It's a great example of two similar plays, oddly enough in the same game, to where he gets better.
"And I think he's been a little more comfortable on his turns. We turned a couple [of] nice double plays yesterday. We're getting a feel for his range and instincts. He's holding his own right now and I'd like to see more of him."
Wedge reiterated Saturday that outfielder Casper Wells is "pretty much done for the season" with more tests scheduled early next week as doctors try to pinpoint an equilibrium problem. It's the same story with shortstop Brendan Ryan and the disk problem in his neck.
"Weighing everything with Ryan, risk-reward, I think that's a long shot," said Wedge.
Bus breakdown doesn't faze Mariners
ARLINGTON -- For 10 minutes on Saturday, about half the Mariners players and training staff stood on the side of the road watching traffic fly by after their team bus broke down en route to the Ballpark at Arlington.
But no worries. A few handy cab drivers later, and the group was back on the road and arrived at the park ahead of the second team bus that came later on the 25-minute trek from the team hotel in Irving.
"We'd just gone down the street. We weren't even to the highway yet and the transmission just completely blew," said Mariners reliever Shawn Kelley. "We stopped at a red light and he tried to gas it and bzzzt, it just ratted. We just stood on the side of the road with our thumbs up."
Manager Eric Wedge hearkened back to the good old days -- before cell phones -- when a few Spring Training road trips grinded to a halt on the side of the road, with someone hiking to find a pay phone to get help.
"Hey, if you've played in this game long enough, you've had more than one bus break down on you," Wedge said. "And I guarantee that bus was in a lot worse shape than the one they were on this morning."
Indeed, Kelley was one who had a better story.
"In Venezuela [playing Winter Ball], we hit another bus and blew our windows out. That was a first," Kelley said. "We stopped, but the other guy kept going. It was like a sideswipe and all the sudden, boom, the windows were flying. They were plastic, so it's not like we were dodging glass, but it scared ... us."
Wedge wasn't on the broken-down bus Saturday, as he'd driven to the park earlier, but he appreciated the humor in the situation.
"Why not?" Wedge said with a laugh. "Just another story for you guys."