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First Pitch: Ichiro's slow start

Through the first 10 games of the year, Ichiro Suzuki hasn't looked like the player the Yankees acquired at the trade deadline last year.

Suzuki, 39, is hitting just .176 after a 1-for-3 outing Saturday. He's been hitting plenty of ground balls and soft flies, and has struggled to get on base.

Ichiro Suzuki

Ichiro Suzuki

#31 RF
New York Yankees

2013 STATS

  • GM10
  • HR1

  • RBI3

  • R3

  • OBP.237

  • AVG.176

After hitting just .261 with Seattle in the first half of last season, he looked galvanized after coming to New York, hitting .322 in his final 67 games. He had more home runs and just one fewer RBI with the Yankees than he had in 28 more games with Seattle, helping New York reach the postseason.

In the offseason, he signed a two-year, $13 million deal. There was concern about the other corner outfield spot after Curtis Granderson went down and the Yankees turned to Vernon Wells. But Wells' bat has looked lively, while Suzuki has struggled.

Obviously, 10 games is a small sample size, but it's something worth keeping an eye on moving forward. The Yankees need Suzuki to be able to manufacture runs in the middle of their lineup, as he's one of the rare players on the Yankees who can provide speed. When he's playing like he did last season, there's no doubt that he makes the Yankees a better team and deeper offensively.

UP NOW: The Yankees lost 5-3 to the Orioles as Phil Hughes got shelled. David Phelps pitched well in relief.

ON DECK: The rubber game is set for 8:05 p.m. as Hiroki Kuroda (1-1, 6.75 ERA) faces Wei-Yin Chen (0-1, 3.75 ERA). I'll be here alongside Andrew Marchand.

QUESTION: Are you worried about Suzuki's slow start? Please let us know in the comments section below and thanks for reading.