Ichiro back in leadoff role, Seager batting third
Mariners manager Eric Wedge has made out his lineup card for tonight’s 5:05 p.m. PT game against the White Sox in Chicago … and for the first time this year it doesn’t have Ichiro Suzuki in the No. 3 spot.
Instead, the 38-year-old is back in his familiar leadoff role, where he hit for his previous 11 seasons in the Majors. Kyle Seager will bat third.
Wedge installed Ichiro in the three-hole early in Spring Training, saying it was in part to give Chone Figgins a chance to jumpstart himself in the leadoff role and in part to get the team’s best veteran hitter in the middle of the order.
But Figgins didn’t produce and now is back to a utility role, while Ichiro wasn’t much of a run producer in the third spot. Although his .271 batting average is second on the team, he’s fifth in RBIs with 17 and his .367 slugging percentage is ahead of only shortstop Brendan Ryan among regular Mariners position players.
Seager leads the team with a .278 batting average, .466 slugging percentage and 28 RBIs. He’s 7-for-11 with four doubles in his past two games.
We’ll have more once we get to talk to Wedge before tonight’s game, which should be a good one with Felix Hernandez on the mound.
Here’s tonight’s full lineup vs. White Sox right-hander Jake Peavy (6-1, 3.07):
Ichiro Suzuki RF
Dustin Ackley 2B
Kyle Seager 3B
Jesus Montero DH
Justin Smoak 1B
Mike Carp LF
Miguel Olivo C
Michael Saunders CF
Brendan Ryan SS
Felix Hernandez RHP