Suzuki announced his retirement from baseball following Thursday's 5-4 victory over the Athletics in 12 innings. Suzuki ended his career with a pair of starts in his home country of Japan and received a standing ovation when he checked out of Thursday's game in the bottom of the eighth inning. The 45-year-old went 0-for-5 with a walk in his two games in Tokyo, but he'll retire with 3,089 career hits over his 19-year MLB career, placing him 23rd in league history. Including his total from his nine-year career in Japan prior to joining the Mariners in 2001, Suzuki recorded 4,367 hits as a professional.
Manager Scott Servais said that Suzuki would play in Thursday's game against the Athletics, but wouldn't commit to the outfielder drawing a second straight start, Ryan Divish of The Seattle Times reports. With the Mariners and Athletics opening the MLB season in Suzuki's home country of Japan, the 45-year-old was rewarded with the start in right field. Batting out of the No. 9 spot, Suzuki popped out in his first plate appearance and a drew a walk in his second before substituting out of the game in the bottom of the fourth. Even if he doesn't start Thursday, he'll likely get at least one at-bat, which could very well represent his last action in the majors. The Mariners haven't indicated whether they plan on carrying Suzuki on the roster once the team resumes regular-season play in North America next week.
Suzuki had his contract selected from Triple-A Tacoma. As expected, Suzuki will join the Mariners ahead of the team's season-opening series against the Athletics in Tokyo. The veteran outfielder will be included in the starting lineup for Seattle's regular-season opener Wednesday, and it wouldn't be surprising to see him start Thursday's game as well. That said, Suzuki's future with the Mariners beyond the club's two-game series in his native Japan remains murky.
Mariners manager Scott Servais said that Suzuki will be included in the starting lineup for the club's regular-season opener March 20 against the Athletics in Tokyo, Ryan Divish of The Seattle Times reports. From the moment Suzuki re-signed with the Mariners in January on a minor-league deal, it was always likely that he would join the big club for its two-game trip to his native Japan. There's a decent possibility that Suzuki starts both Wednesday and Thursday in his home country, but his future with the Mariners beyond this week is more questionable. General manager Jerry Dipoto has previously stated that Suzuki will be given a fair chance to compete for his place on the roster once the club returns to North America, but there might not be much incentive for a rebuilding organization to keep a spot open for a 45-year-old outfielder.
Suzuki (foot) is batting seventh and starting in left field for Friday's spring training game against the Athletics, Greg Johns of MLB.com reports. Suzuki was hit on the left foot by a pitch during live batting practice earlier this week, but his quick return to action is no surprise given an X-ray revealed no structural damage. The veteran outfielder is expected to travel with the Mariners for the two-game, season-opening series in Japan against the Athletics, though his longer-term status on the 25-man roster is more difficult to pin down.