With his batting average down to .252 thanks to a month-long, 13-for-87 (.149) slump Ichiro Suzuki is out of the Mariners’ lineup today for the first time since 2009.
That snaps a streak of 255 consecutive starts for Suzuki, which is the second-longest in baseball behind only Matt Kemp of the Dodgers with 268.
Carlos Peguero is starting in Suzuki’s place in right field, while Chone Figgins takes over the leadoff spot against Tigers right-hander Brad Penny.
Suzuki is obviously capable of getting very hot and boosting his numbers in a hurry, but Greg Johns of MLB.com notes that .252 is the lowest his batting average has ever been this deep into a season.
Phillies third baseman Will Middlebrooks suffered a serious injury during Saturday’s Grapefruit League contest against the Orioles. The infielder was chasing down a pop fly in the eighth inning when he ran into left fielder Andrew Pullin, who inadvertently trapped Middlebrooks’ ankle under his leg. Middlebrooks was unable to put weight on his leg following the collision and was carted off the field and taken to a local hospital for X-rays.
Per MLB.com’s Todd Zolecki, not much is known yet about the severity of the ankle injury or the recovery time it will require, though it appears serious enough to set Middlebrooks back considerably as he seeks a backup/bench role with the team this spring.
The 29-year-old is currently seeking another opportunity to extend his six-year major-league career in 2018. He’s coming off of two down years with the Brewers and Rangers, during which he slashed a cumulative .169/.229/.262 with four extra bases through 70 plate appearances.