Mariners Insider

How long will Ichiro bat third? Ummm…..

Post by Larry Larue / The News Tribune on May 29, 2012 at 4:05 pm with 11 Comments »
May 29, 2012 4:05 pm

The Chone Figgins experiment last 24 games, and  manager Eric Wedge was asked a familiar question today – how long will Ichiro remain the Seattle Mariners No. 3 hitter?

“Obviously it’s something you have to consider. But you’ve got to have a solution to it, too,” Wedge said.

“I’m always considering almost everything. I weigh everything out. I look at our options, the timing, I try to stay consistent with my thought process on all our guys.

“But the fact of the matter is you have to open yourself up to what you feel ultimately is best for the ballclub and best for the player.”

In other words, Wedge didn’t say he would move Ichiro, who has played every game his season and batted third in each.

A year ago, Ichiro batted a career-low .272 and now, in the final year of his contract, has hit .271 in a team-high 207 at-bats. He has one home run and 16 RBI, tied for fourth on the club.

“It’s a matter of giving him as much time as I feel like we need to give him,” Wedge said. “And also, you have to take into consideration who is going to be your three-hole hitter, who is going to hit fourth. All that enters into it.”

Ichiro is not a classic No. 3 hitter, but at .271 his batting average is the highest on the team. With runners in scoring position, however, Ichiro is batting .157.

Leave a comment Comments → 11
  1. timeout says:

    Once in a while this team gives you a tease of what may be possible.
    Good to see Seager’s hitting pick up again–I wish he had more confidence in the Safe–and also to see Jaso in the thick of things.

    I’m not sure what Ichiro looks like, but even on a decent night, not like a number three hitter. Seager could hit third against righties, I suppose, although it’s early in his career; Montero against lefties? Jeez, that’s a lot of pressure on a 22 year old. It’s not hard to see Wedge’s conundrum if you think it through.

  2. Wedge is more than likely getting his orders from above, just like melvin and hargrove, even though it costs the team wins. For this FO team, winning is secondary, its damn obvious.

  3. UncleWalter says:

    Ichiro, Figgins, and Olivo have got to go out and the fences have got to come in at Safeco. Why have the most boring stadium in baseball, and one that demoralizes Mariners hitters? Look what happened to Beltre at Safeco. They are all affected.

  4. Fplks. while he’s obviously being overpaid, nonetheless Ichiro has the top batting average on the team. This year, having him play everyday whether it’s in the #1 #2 or #3 slot isn’t going to hurt us. He’s not going to be traded. As I’ve stated recently, I really hope he chooses to retire after this year.

  5. wabubba67 says:

    Batting average means little, when the OBP is low. Jaso has a low batting average, but one of the highest OBPs on the team.

  6. Won’t you be surprised if Ichiro chooses to retire? Unless he tanks abysmally, the question is where he will wind up. And even if he tanks, he might finish his career in Japan.

    No, the question is, will the M’s resign him if he continues to do poorly in BA (for him) and OBP. I could see him going to a better hitting team in a warmer ballpark with a faster playing surface and having something of a revival. But the thing I really care about is what the M’s do, and that he’s replaced (if he is) with someone who will be an improvement overall, if that’s what they choose to do. (His fielding is better this year than last; that’s hard to fathom.)

    I don’t join in the Ichiro hate; for ten years he was an incredible, if unconventional right fielder, hitter and baserunner for the M’s. I’m more in line with moo; if he’s way past his prime–as it seems more and more–then it’s time, in the best interest of the M’s and him, to move on.

    Rather than festering over Ichiro, I’d rather see a good discussion over who might inherit right field. As of now Peguero, Wells and Saunders are candidates with ML experience. It’s going to be interesting.

  7. bbnate420 says:

    The hope should be that Peguero could take right. We need the power and he is a better fielder than Carp IMO. Saunders plays right and Peguero slides to left if Carp cannot get his sh&* together. That is if Guti ever gets healthy and takes center back!

  8. wabubba67 says:

    Ichiro has been unwatchable to those that know baseball over the past 2-3 years…the most overrated H of Fer ever. We need to finally cur our ties with him…I Could care less about 3000 hits in a Mariner uniform at the expense of a younger, more deserving, outfielder. Buh-bye.

  9. timeout says:

    “those that know baseball”…why not just write, “those who agree with me”? Come on, wabub, there is a whole range of opinions out there on any baseball subject. Frankly, I don’t like watching Ichiro at the plate in his current funk either, but he’s still one of the best right fielders in baseball, by far the best on the M’s. Perhaps “those that know baseball” don’t care for defense?

    I’ll just put my opinion–and facts, when I can find them–out there and let them stand on their own.

  10. alaskafan says:

    Ichiro should be in in the 7th to ninth spot in the batting order, where he will do less damage when hitting in to double-play outs.

  11. timeout says:

    Like that–that’s what I’m talkin’ about.

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