Ichiro Suzuki collected his 3,000th major league hit as a member of the Marlins in 2016, his age-42 season. While he looked like he might have been finished after hitting just .229 in an injury-ridden 2015, Suzuki rebounded to hit .291 in 327 at-bats in 2016 while filling in for an injured Giancarlo Stanton. Suzuki hit just one home run for the third consecutive season, but he quietly recorded 10 steals, making it 16 straight MLB seasons with double-digit steals. The Marlins picked up Suzuki's option for 2017, and at age 43 he will be the oldest position player in the league by a wide margin. Although Suzuki will likely be a first ballot Hall of Famer someday, he isn't likely to see much playing time in 2017 unless one of the Marlins' starting outfielders goes down with an injury. Even if that path to playing time develops, a reprisal of his surprisingly decent 2016 numbers is the best fantasy owners can realistically hope for from a player his age.
Suzuki went 2-for-4 with his first homer of the year in Wednesday's road loss to the Mariners. It was a garbage-time homer with the Marlins down 10-4 and no one on base, but it was still a great moment for Ichiro, who spent 12 remarkable years in Seattle. This could have been his last MLB game at Safeco Field (where he hadn't appeared since 2014 until this series), but you never know -- he doesn't seem all that inclined to retire after this season ends. That said, he's hitting just .158 in the early going while serving as the Marlins' fourth outfielder.
Suzuki went 0-for-3 with three groundouts in Monday's 6-1 loss to the Mariners. The hitless performance dropped Suzuki's average to .067 (1-for-15) on the young season, and he's also struck out six times in 15 plate appearances. The 43-year-old former batting champion isn't a starter and doesn't have much thump in his bat in the twilight of his career. He'll probably steal a few bags here and there, but he's mainly a bench option in deep NL-only affairs.
Suzuki went 2-for-3 in Sunday's Grapefruit League game against the Cardinals. The future Hall of Famer had a slow start to the spring following an outfield collision, but Suzuki is now hitting .316/.325/.342 through 38 at-bats. The 43-year-old will serve as the Marlins' fourth outfielder once again this season, with his playing time largely tied to Giancarlo Stanton's health.
Suzuki (back) will serve as the Marlins' designated hitter and bat eighth in the lineup in Sunday's Grapefruit League game against the Astros, Craig Davis of the South Florida Sun Sentinel reports. Suzuki tweaked his back earlier in the spring following a minor outfield collision, and the Marlins have been limiting the veteran's workload accordingly. His entry into the lineup at DH on Sunday seemingly implies he's in little danger of missing the start of the regular season, and it shouldn't be long before he sees time in the corner outfield again. Suzuki figures to open the season as the Marlins' fourth outfielder, with most of his starts coming when one of Marcell Ozuna, Giancarlo Stanton or Christian Yelich needs a maintenance day.
Suzuki (back) is making progress in his rehab and should return to team workouts on Monday, Joe Frisaro of MLB.com reports. The Marlins are easing the 43-year-old back into things after he collided with Brandon Barnes last week. They're not trying to rush the veteran back too soon, especially with the extended spring, so even when he joins the team for workouts Monday, he may be slightly limited. He shouldn't have any lingering issues, though, and will likely serve as Miami's fourth outfielder in 2017.
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