undergroundnewsroom.com March 23, 2018

Ichiro Suzuki likely to return to Seattle Mariners

09 March 2018, 02:52 | Nina Mathis

Will Ichiro be back in Seattle? Alan Chitlik Sportspress Northwest

Will Ichiro be back in Seattle?  Alan Chitlik Sportspress Northwest

The Mariners have not made the postseason since Ichiro's prolific rookie season in 2001. Most recently, left fielder Ben Gamel suffered a strained right oblique muscle that will keep him out four to six weeks.

Ichiro is a two-time batting champion and a 10-time All-Star.

Surefire Hall of Famer Ichiro Suzuki is finalizing a one-year deal to return to Seattle, according to USA Today's Bob Nightengale. He joins first baseman Ryon Healy on the list of notable Mariners injuries in Spring Training, though Healy, unlike Gamel, could potentially be ready for Opening Day. With the Mariners' recent injury issues they need someone to fill in the gaps and who better than Ichiro? After three years in NY and three with the Miami Marlins, Ichiro received a buyout when Miami did not pick up his option.

Ichiro is ranked 22 in career hits with 3,080, but last season started only 22 games while accumulating 196 at bats, which is the lowest total during his entire 17-year career.

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On July 4 of past year, Ichiro's batting average was.202, but the remainder of the season he hit.315 and finished at.255.

Gamel, 25, is in line for regular at-bats with the 2018 Mariners after posting a solid.275/.322/.413 slash with 11 homers, 27 doubles and five triples through 550 plate appearances a year ago in his first full big league season. But he managed 27 pinch hits, one short of a single season record.

Ichiro is only the sixth player who is 43 years of age or older to have 50 hits or more in a season.

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