Amid career-worst slump, Ichiro Suzuki dropped in order


One spot anyway.

Mariners manager Eric Wedge idea of a shakeup is really more of a gentle rattle. He has Dustin Ackley leading off and Ichiro Suzuki batting second in Saturday’s lineup.

Ichiro went hitless in a fifth straight game Friday, tying the longest streak of his career. He previously went hitless in five straight in 2006.

Overall, Ichiro is hitting .258/.286/.351 in 345 at-bats. Only J.J. Hardy has made more outs this season. He’s been particularly dreadful against left-handers, hitting .233/.235/.264 in 129 at-bats, so the Mariners’ should be seriously considering making him a platoon player, at least until he starts hitting.

Indians release Mike Napoli

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The Cleveland Indians have released Mike Napoli.

This is not terribly surprising as he was seen as a depth move to begin with. Injury insurance for Yonder Alonso at first base and Edwin Encarnacion at DH, neither of whom are injured at the moment. Napoli was on a minor league contract and the Indians made it clear that, if he can’t find a major league job elsewhere, he’s welcome to come back and cool his heels in Columbus in the event he’s needed later.

Which may be what happens if he wants to keep playing because, after a season in which he hit .193/.285/.428, and a spring in which he hit .218/.310/.431, there aren’t likely to be a ton of takers.