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.
Phillies star outfielder Bryce Harper played some third base during Monday’s intrasquad game at Citizens Bank Park, Jim Salisbury of NBC Sports Philadelphia reports. Harper had been pestering manager Joe Girardi for the opportunity and the skipper finally gave in.
Girardi told Harper, “No diving. And make sure your arm is loose.” Harper had the opportunity to field one ball, a grounder to his left and he made the play perfectly.
Why put Harper at third base? Girardi said, “I think it’s important the guys have fun. I saw him a week ago taking ground balls there and I was impressed. His hands worked well out front and he threw the ball across the field well. I told him, ‘You look good there.'”
Despite the solid showing, don’t expect Harper to show up at third base in a meaningful game anytime soon. That being said, the Phillies’ second and third base situations are still not cemented. Jean Segura will likely open the season at the hot corner with Scott Kingery at second, but things could change between now and Opening Day in 10 days.
Harper, 27, is coming off a solid first season with the Phillies. He hit .260/.372/.510 with 36 doubles, 35 home runs, 114 RBI, 98 runs scored, and 15 stolen bases across 682 plate appearances. Per FanGraphs, Harper’s 4.6 Wins Above Replacement ranked 16th in the National League. For some people, those numbers weren’t nearly good enough, so the expectations remain high as Harper enters year two of his 13-year, $330 million contract.