Ichiro Suzuki is hitting .312 since he came to the Yankees, more than 50 points higher than he had been hitting with the Seattle Mariners. His on-base percentage in his 23 games in pinstripes is a more-than-respectable .338. He is providing the kind of speed and basepath presence the Yankees had been counting on from Brett Gardner before he was felled nine games into the season by an elbow injury.
Sounds like top-of-the-order material, right? Wrong.
Manager Joe Girardi said Ichiro, who has batted leadoff once as a Yankee and in the bottom third of the order 19 times, is likely to remain where he is tonight --batting at or near the bottom of the lineup.
“I like what he’s done down there,'' Girardi said. "He’s been good for us and Jeet has been really good for us, as well. Our lineup, it’s not like we’re not scoring runs. I get so many questions about our lineup, you’d think we scored one run a night around here. What did we score yesterday, six? And someone had problems with the lineup yesterday. I’ll probably keep it the same.”