Examining the M's: Ichiro is heating up

Updated: June 17, 2011, 12:37 PM ET
By Eric Karabell
I readily admit that at this time a week ago I looked closely at the sagging statistics being provided by Seattle Mariners outfielder Ichiro Suzuki and wondered if the end was near. The great Ichiro, about as sure a thing as there has been for batting average reliability in the real and fantasy world over the past decade, was hitting .248, scoring fewer runs than even last season, not making all the plays in right field and being ripped by the local media. It sure looked like something was awry for the 37-year-old hit machine.

I own Ichiro in two leagues, one in which I have batting average and stolen bases pretty much figured out - thank you, Matt Kemp! - and had a trade offer for a pitcher I needed. I still declined the offer. Today, five consecutive multi-hit games and 21 batting average points later, with four stolen bases along the way, I'm pleased. You might be thinking, so what, I should have traded from excess anyway. But I view it as now I can get a better pitcher in a trade, or keep Ichiro and move someone else.