|Ichiro Dropped From Leadoff Spot|
by Rick Randall of SeattleClubhouse.com, July 7, 2012 at 7:54 pm ET
Ichiro Suzuki Profile
The Mariners lineup is out for today's game versus the Oakland Athletics, and Ichiro Suzuki is not leading off. He's still in the lineup, but the 38-year-old veteran -- who was given a "partial day off" yesterday, serving as the team's DH and going 0-for-5 -- has been dropped to the 2nd spot in the lineup.
Ichiro, of course, started the season batting 3rd in a well-publicized off-season move my manager Eric Wedge to not only try and get Ichiro going again, but free agent bust Chone Figgins, too. Ichiro hit just .271/.305/.367 in 52 games in the 3rd spot in the order (while Figgins lost his job he hit so poorly), and Ichiro was moved back to leadoff to try and kick start him again. He's hit just .237/.255/.326 in 31 games batting 1st, and while that OPS ranks him in the middle of the pack for Mariners players over that time, clearly Wedge's patience with Ichiro -- and the rest of the offense -- is wearing thin.
With an expiring contract and declining skills, what lies ahead for Ichiro and the Mariners following 2012 could very well determine if this club can move toward respectability or continue to flounder.