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Daily coverage of the Mariners during the season and all year long.

May 30, 2012 at 2:00 PM

Ichiro gets night off, Kyle Seager bats third

Ichiro is not in tonight’s lineup for the first time all season. Kyle Seager will bat third instead while Chone Figgins is in right field.
That this type of thing is still news in Seattle nearly two months into the season says plenty about the way things are run. Ichiro is no longer an above average American League hitter. He’s actually a below average hitter in terms of OPS+. That doesn’t mean he should be permanently benched. But it also doesn’t mean he should be the last guy to get a rest this season.


Mariners manger Eric Wedge has said he wanted to give Ichiro time to adapt to the No. 3 spot in the order. That was yesterday, when Ichiro headed into action with an OPS+ of 63 compared to all No. 3 hitters in the league. That puts him 37 percent below the production supplied by an average No. 3 hitter.
Not that having Figgins in there as a right fielder will add much to the offense or defense, considering he’s a lesser outfielder than Ichiro.
But Seager profiles better as a No. 3 guy and this is still a team. You can’t have one below average hitter who continues to play while every other player rests. So, mark down May 30 for the office pool winning date this year. About a week and a half earlier than last season.

Comments | Topics: Chone Figgins

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