{}
CLOSE

Now Commenting On:

Hot-hitting Ichiro forces way into lineup

|
Hot-hitting Ichiro forces way into lineup play video for Hot-hitting Ichiro forces way into lineup

MILWAUKEE -- The Yankees never appeared to have a concrete plan for how Ichiro Suzuki would be utilized this season, with the arrivals of Jacoby Ellsbury and Carlos Beltran bumping the veteran star into a sort of floating reserve role.

There would be days when Ichiro would come off the bench as a pinch-hitter or be used to pinch-run, and manager Joe Girardi knew that he could count on Ichiro as a stellar defensive replacement. It was a puzzle how often, and when, Ichiro would be needed to start.

"It's something that obviously he's never done," Girardi said. "I don't know if you could ever go back to a time at any part of his career where he hasn't been an everyday player. Maybe in Little League where you don't play every day; that might have been the last time. He's been great."

The 40-year-old Ichiro, who started on Sunday in right field and batted seventh in the series finale against the Brewers, has forced his way into a crowded outfield mix that is also populated by Brett Gardner and Alfonso Soriano.

Ichiro entered play on Sunday with 10 hits in his last 25 at-bats (.400), batting .377 with a .400 on-base percentage and .453 slugging percentage in 29 games. To Girardi, that has stated the case for more playing time.

"His at-bats have been outstanding," Girardi said. "It's a nice weapon to have. He's done a really good job."

Bryan Hoch is a reporter for MLB.com. Follow him on Twitter @bryanhoch and read his MLBlog, Bombers Beat. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.

{}
{}
Boys and Girls Club of America

©2014 MLBAM, LP. All rights reserved.

The following are trademarks or service marks of Major League Baseball entities and may be used only with permission of Major League Baseball Properties, Inc. or the relevant Major League Baseball entity: Major League, Major League Baseball, MLB, the silhouetted batter logo, World Series, National League, American League, Division Series, League Championship Series, All-Star Game, and the names, nicknames, logos, uniform designs, color combinations, and slogans designating the Major League Baseball clubs and entities, and their respective mascots, events and exhibitions. Use of the Website signifies your agreement to the Terms of Use and Privacy Policy (updated May 24, 2013).

View MLB.com in English | En Español