Despite struggling for the plate that has followed him to Japan, Ichiro Suzuki will be kicking off the MLB season on Wednesday in Tokyo.
Ichiro hit .080 in spring training and was hit six bats in two show games against the Yomiuri Giants. The Seattle Mariners play the season in Oakland A on Wednesday.
"Ichiro will start in the first matches against A for us," said coach Scott Servais according to the Japan Times. "He plays well in the outfield, apparently tonight he showed plenty of arm strength on the one throw to the third base and he'll start the game and we'll see what it looks like there.
" I'm excited for him. It was not a great spring training for him, but if there's anyone who can do it for a few days, it's certainly Ichiro. "
Ichiro showed that he still has a big arm on Monday at 45. In the third inning, he fired a flyball and fired a ball into third place to make sure the runner did not finish second to the fans of the Tokyo Domes have gone crazy, which is not a big surprise as Ichiro has created the best MLB career of a Japanese-born player.
In the first game on Sunday, Ichiro signed the third baseline before the game and then made a good race in the first inning against the wall in the right right field the man with 3,089 MLB hits now seems to buy none.
The Mariners can record Ichiro with a special 28-man squad for the Japan visit, but will return to 25 when the season is over The USA resumes a week later.
After that, Ichiro's future is uncertain, he resigned early at the end of the final second as Ason, who temporarily retired has to become a Mariners special assistant.
Servais downplayed the idea that Ichiro is under pressure to get hit.
"I do not think Ichiro is under pressure," Servais said Sunday. "He certainly deserves the right to participate in this series."
The Associated Press contributed to this report.