Now batting third — Ichiro

Another day, a different lineup.

The method to manager Don Wakamatsu’s madness put right fielder Ichiro Suzuki in the three-hole for today’s Cactus League road game against the Brewers.

“I  brought it up to him the other day and will talk to him again today about it,” Wakamatsu said. “Do I foresee him as the third-place hitter? No. But it gives me another viable option if I got with more of a run-and-gun offense. It’s not about Ichiro coming in and hitting 40 home runs. I’m smart enough to know I need him to be right mentally and we don’t go off the deep end where all of sudden it’s messing with the routine that he has been awfully success with.”

In other words, don’t get used to seeing Ichiro bat anywhere but leadoff.

Today’s lineup:

1. Endy chavez, CF.
2. Jose Lopez, 2B.
3. Ichiro Suzuki, RF.
4. Wladimir Balentien, LF.
5. Russell Branyan, 1B.
6. Kenji Johjima, C.
7. Yuniesky Betancourt, SS.
8. Ronny Cedeno, 3B.
9. Ryan Rowland-Smith,P

The Aussie pitcher, who went 2-for-2 against the Rockies earlier this spring in Tucson, returns to the plate in today’s game. He used Jeff Clement’s bat the last time, Clement was sent to the Minors a couple of days ago and took his bats with him.

“I’m going to use one of (Mike) Wilson’s bats,” Rowland-Smith said. “I’m looking for more power.”

— Jim Street

3 Comments

Jim, I hope all is well! What can you tell me about my boy Shelton making the team? How could Wakamatsu even sell cutting him to the fans? Have you ever asked him about it? Branyan’s batting average is coming back to earth (and fast) and Shelton keeps hitting .500…at some point they need to go with the hot hand, right? Keep up the great blogs!!!

I vote for keeping Ichi at leadoff.

Any comments or thoughts on Morrow’s “closer” comments? Is he really? Immediately? Maybe later? Who may hold down the fort?
thanks.

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