The struggles of Ichiro Suzuki

ichiro-suzuki-540x351I don’t have enough time to write about all the Yankees who are under-achieving offensively. Instead, I’ll try to pick off the grossest offenders. We can start with Ichiro Suzuki. When the Yankees acquired Ichiro last season, the team wasn’t acquiring the .330 AVG hit machine who became famous in Seattle. When the Bombers picked Ichiro up he was hitting a miserable .261/.288/.353. That’s not a player you want in your lineup. I don’t care how famous he is.

Surprisingly, Suzuki stepped into the way-back machine when he donned the Pinstripes. Ichiro hit .322/.340/.454 with the Yankees, almost vintage stuff. But it raised the question who the real Ichiro was. Was he the automatic out in Seattle? Or was he the .320 hitter in the Bronx?

So far this season we’ve only had the bad Ichiro. He’s hitting .278/.315/.385. That translates into a .304 wOBA or an 88 wRC+. No matter how you slice it, that’s below average production. In total, Ichiro has given the Yankees 1.3 fWAR.…

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The Return Of The Old Guy Outfield Platoon

Ichiro vs MIN

The Yankees won for the first time in almost a week last night.  And they did it with one of their most recently productive bats on the bench to start the game.  With a left-handed starter on the mound, Joe elected to sit Ichiro Suzuki, probably for rest more than anything, and start Vernon Wells in right field.  With Zoilo Almonte looking good in his Major League debut and solidifying his role as the starting left fielder, right field turned back into the L/R platoon the Yankees always envisioned it, for one night at least.  With the way things worked out last night, Joe might want to consider going to that well more often.

Not even joking, I think last night might have been the first game all season in which both Wells and Ichiro had good games.  Wells, still batting cleanup even though the stats and spray charts say no way, had 2 singles in 3 plate appearances against Scott Diamond before giving way to Ichiro in the 8th.  …

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Is Ichiro’s Bat Speed Slowing Down?

Us Yankee fans have grown used to watching older veteran players, and if we’ve learned anything, it’s that patience is an important factor in baseball. In the not so distant past, we’ve written off players like Raul Ibanez, Derek Jeter, and Mike Mussina, only for them to rebound into extremely important pieces.

Last year, the Yankees acquired the 38-year old Ichiro Suzuki after a year and a half of below average baseball. You’d think this was a big enough sample size to start coming to some conclusions, but there were some tidbits hidden in his advanced data. Ichiro was producing extremely high line drive rates, and for some reason the ball wasn’t falling into play. After the trade to the Yankees, the outfielder flourished, and looked like he reverted back to his old self through 283 plate appearances.

In reality, neither his three months with the Yankees in 2012, nor his previous year and a half with the Mariners is a big enough sample size to justify calling him done.…

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Just one more day …

Tonight, the 2013 Major League Baseball season begins, with the Texas Rangers playing the Houston Astros. The most beautiful thing about the baseball season is that it changes how I spend my leisure time. Nothing on TV tonight? They always play baseball. Can’t think of something to do after work? Call a buddy and watch some baseball. Don’t know how to spend time on a sunny afternoon? Upper deck tickets are cheap on Stub Hub and the 4 train moves fast. 162 games plus the playoffs means something to do, something to watch and something to talk about for half the year, and in terms of weather it’s the better half of the year.

After the gift of always having something entertaining to do, my second favorite thing about the baseball season is following story lines. Most Yankee fans are upset because the team enters 2013 in the weakest state that it has been in since 2008. Not only is the team not favored to win the AL East, but many believe the team will miss the playoffs.…

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An outfield made of glass?

Yankee spring training has gotten off to a rough start. By now everyone knows that Curtis Granderson will be out until early May with a fractured forearm. That’s a huge loss for the Yankees. Granderson’s 2012 may have paled in comparison to his 2011, but he’s still a critical bat in the...

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Piecing it Together: Part Three

In my last two pieces talked about building the lineup. To quickly test the potency of these lineups, I ran them through the lineup analysis tool from Baseball Musings. I used the PECOTA and ZiPS projections to get the players’ OBP/SLG. Remember, though, these projected OBP/SLG numbers are NOT split adjusted...

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It’s Still Important To Stay Grounded With Ichiro & Gardner

Can this trio carry enough offensive weight? Courtesy of Getty Images

(Syndicated from An A-Blog for A-Rod)

ESPN NY’s Spring Training countdown series got off to a pretty crummy start, but...

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Piecing it Together: Part Two

You’ll remember that last week, I mused about the possible lineup construction for the 2013 squad. Let’s revisit the idea of the lineup one more time, with something else in mind.

If you’ve read this site, then you’re probably familiar with the Replacement Level Yankee Blog and its CAIRO Projections. The...

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