Back in spring training of 2012, when the Mariners made the choice to switch Ichiro out of the leadoff spot, he was coming off a season in which he’d posted just a .310 on-base percentage.
We’re now 1 1/2 seasons removed from that call and the Mariners are still abysmal in the leadoff position. Just like their failure to replace Edgar Martinez’s DH production with anything even close to league average in the years that followed, the Mariners’ attrocious leadoff production continues to drag the offense down.
As of today, the team has received a .287 OBP from all of its leadoff contributors.
Going forward? The team has to identify a realistic leadoff candidate. If not, it has to address the issue this off-season unlike last winter, when it failed to do so.
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