Tag: Ichiro Suzuki

Ichiro Suzuki

Marlins open to Ichiro Suzuki returning in 2016


Marlins outfielder Ichiro Suzuki recently tied and surpassed Ty Cobb for second on the unofficial professional hits leaderboard. He entered Saturday’s game against the Phillies with 2,923 hits in the major leagues, leaving him 77 hits shy of another major milestone — 3,000 MLB hits.

The Marlins would be open to the 41-year-old returning to the team for the 2016 season to join the 3,000 hit club, Craig Davis of the South Florida Sun-Sentinel reports. Ichiro is on pace to finish with 105 hits, which would mean 26 more hits between now and the end of the season, putting him at 2,949. Assuming he would hit somewhere in the .250-.270 area with enough at-bats, he would likely claim his 3,000th hit during the first half of the season.

Ichiro carried a .265/.317/.326 batting line with one home run, 20 RBI, and 36 runs into Saturday night’s game. He signed a one-year, $2 million deal with the Marlins in January and went into the season as a back-up outfielder. A combination of injuries and poor performance led to Ichiro getting much more playing time than initially anticipated.

Video: Ichiro Suzuki registers his 4,192nd professional hit, (kinda sorta) passing Ty Cobb

Cardinals v Marlins

Ichiro Suzuki slapped a ball into shallow right field Saturday evening at Busch Stadium for the 4,192nd hit of his professional career — 1,278 in Japan and 2,914 in Major League Baseball …

4,192 hits is one more than Ty Cobb produced in his major league career, and it puts Ichiro within striking distance of MLB’s all-time hits king, Pete Rose, who tallied 4,256 hits during his 24-year career. This is all unofficial, of course, and probably a little silly. Nobody is counting the 427 hits Rose had as a minor leaguer.

Ichiro Suzuki tied Ty Cobb with 4,191 professional hits

Ichiro Suzuki

Marlins outfielder Ichiro Suzuki lined a Jaime Garcia offering to left field in the fifth inning in a 3-1 loss on Friday night. It didn’t have the appearance of a milestone hit, but the crowd at Busch Stadium in St. Louis gave the veteran a nice round of applause — and with good reason. The single was the 4,191st hit in professional baseball for Suzuki — combining his achievements in Japan and in the United States — putting him in a tie with Hall of Famer Ty Cobb, who is second behind Pete Rose on baseball’s all-time hits list. Rose had 4,256 hits.

Suzuki, now 41, made his major league debut with the Mariners in 2001, earning American League Rookie of the Year and MVP honors. He would log 200-plus hits in 10 consecutive seasons, including 262 in 2004 when he set the single-season hits record. He has 2,913 in the major leagues. In Japan, between 1992-2000, Suzuki logged 1,278 hits.

If Ichiro were to surpass Rose, it would not be recognized as an official record. However, it’s certainly an accomplishment we can appreciate. It will certainly be used to bolster arguments in favor of his enshrinement in the Hall of Fame.

The Marlins are screwing over one of their players… again

Marcell Ozuna

When the Marlins demoted starting center fielder Marcell Ozuna on July 5, it made some sense. Sure, they had no one to replace him, but he was in a lengthy slump and 10-14 days in Triple-A might have been just the thing to restore his confidence at the plate.

And it was. Ozuna hit .325 with two homers and four doubles in his first 10 games back in the minors. But he wasn’t recalled.

Two weeks later, Ozuna is still rotting away in Triple-A while the Marlins play Christian Yelich out of position in center and Cole Gillespie, Ichiro Suzuki and recently Derek Dietrich in the corners. Ichiro played in 24 games and got 77 at-bats last month, hitting .195/.250/.234.

Ozuna has kept producing through all of this, hitting .314/.372/.558 in 24 games in Triple-A. It’s really hard to imagine that he’s not one of the Marlins’ three-best outfielders right now. Even his disappointing major league line of .249/.301/.337 features an average, an OBP and a slugging percentage better than Ichiro’s.

But, of course, the Marlins have reasons to keep Ozuna down. Financial reasons. Money reasons. Jeffrey Loria reasons. See, Ozuna entered the 2015 season with one year and 153 days of service time, practically assuring that he would be super-two arbitration eligible if he remained in the majors. That’s not going to happen now. If he were recalled today, he’d already be a long shot to qualify for super two. If the Marlins wait another week, it’s a given that he’ll miss the cut off.

So, they’ll wait another week.

Ozuna’s continued presence in Triple-A is all about saving Loria a buck. His free agency timetable hasn’t changed, but losing out on that fourth year of arbitration will probably cost him $5 million-$10 million over these next few years. That’s apparently enough to make it worth it for Loria. He hasn’t even gotten the kind of negative publicity for it that he might if he were holding back a top prospect instead (oddly enough, the Marlins rarely hold back top prospects for service time considerations, which is why they get themselves into such situations later).

I do wonder, though, if this will really pay off for Loria in the long run. Ozuna is a Scott Boras client. Jose Fernandez is a Boras client. Lots of good players are Boras clients. Spiting him to save a couple of million per year doesn’t seem like the greatest of ideas.

Marlins option Marcell Ozuna to Triple-A

Marcell Ozuna

Following another 0-for-3 performance in Sunday’s loss to the Cubs, the Marlins optioned outfielder Marcell Ozuna to Triple-A New Orleans. Ozuna was mired in a dreadful slump, going hitless in five consecutive games and in nine of his last 10 games.

It’s still a surprising move as Ozuna was their starting center fielder and has a still-salvageable .249/.301/.337 triple-slash line with four home runs and 26 RBI. Plus, it isn’t as if the Marlins have an obvious candidate to push into the outfield in Ozuna’s absence. Fourth outfielder Ichiro Suzuki has hit worse than Ozuna.

Justin Bour has been swinging a hot bat and the struggling Marlins likely want to keep his bat in the lineup. Michael Morse was activated from the disabled list and may see time in left field rather than at first base going forward.