Ichiro in the 3 Hole… not so fast

With Ichiro batting third for Japan in the World Baseball Classic the annual barking from some Mariner followers for Ichiro to bat third has begun.  IchiroWhile this may have made sense for Japan, the same cannot be said for the Mariners.  Don’t get me wrong the thought of a .330 hitter batting third sounds pretty good.  But.  And this is a big but, who leads off for the M’s.  Jeremy Reed represents the only other viable option.  His 2005 performance doesn’t elicit great hope for the mid to high .300 obp you would like to see from a lead off hitter.  So with no other options, Ichiro provides the best option to lead off for the Mariner’s.

Just another Ichiro note.  Wouldn’t it be something if we could see 162 games of the passion and emotion Ichiro displayed in the WBC.   That passion and emotion has not been seen in Seattle since Lou Pinella left town.  While Ichiro won’t throw any tantrums ala Lou the fire he showed in the WBC is desperately need at the Safe.



  1. Jake

    I think Ichiro is a near-protypical #2 hitter. Not enough pop in his bat to be a middle-of-the-order guy and not a high enough OBP to lead off, but he’s a solid #2.

  2. jeremy.pinches@gmail.com

    I don’t see anyone else who could possibly be the lead-off hitter for the Ms. While Ichiro’s OBP and BA were both disappointing last year, we’re talking about a guy who is LIGHTNING on the basepaths. If you have a guy like Ichiro who can score on a single from first on a hit-and-run, he has to be the leadoff man. No question.

    How about Kenji!!!

  3. sinkseattlesink@yahoo.com

    I think later on in Ichiro’c career he could maybe be a number three hitter. In Japan one season he was asked to swing for the fences a bit more often and he put up almost 30 homers that season. Right now he is one of the best lead off hitter in the game and I think thats where he should stay. As he ages and slows down a bit and isnt able to get all those in field hits, I think he has the capability of developing more power and maybe become a number 4 hitter. Who’s to reaally say. Everything he tries to do he does extremely well. I wouldnt put anything past him. Ichiro could probably pitch while announcing the game in Japanese and selling concessions all at the same time if he wanted to.

  4. hawkeyemd38@yahoo.com

    Ichiro as a number three batter? Maybe in this point of his career, but it won’t seem the same to Mariner fans. They have always been accustomed to seeing him batting first. I also agree that Ichiro should remain the Mariners’ leadoff hitter. Anything but leadoff just will not do for Ichiro Suzuki.

  5. johnsj42@yahoo.com

    Yes, it is too bad for Reed. I think that this will be his year. I have a feeling he will be starting with another club in the near future. He is just to good in CF to waste away in AAA.

  6. wcheyer1@comcast.net

    I guess part of the equation with Ichiro batting first vs. third is on base percentage… who on the Mariners at the end of the year do you think will have the highest OBP… Plus I want him to get the extra at bat. That means lead off. Who on this team is going to lead the team in steals and putting themselves in scoring position at the end of the game? Leave him at one.

  7. chazbedlam@cableone.net

    Mariners Fan,

    I probably shouldn’t be laughing yet, but I can’t help it. HAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAH! Your ballclub does this evey time you have a “good” season. It looks like noone can beat em, and then they realize that they are the M’s and they choke. Mojo Risin’? Um……..no. Ichiro would look awesome in pinstripes, maybe he would like to join a real team? We’ll have our people call your people.


    Yankees fan

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