Mariners Unsure Whether Suzuki Will Start Season on DL
SCOTTSDALE, Ariz. (AP) — The Seattle Mariners are monitoring Ichiro Suzuki's strained right calf to determine whether he'll be on the opening day roster or the disabled list.
Suzuki went 0 for 3 with a walk and played seven innings in left field Tuesday in the 5-2 victory over the Colorado Rockies.
"I don't think he's quite at 100 percent yet," Mariners manager Scott Servais said. "He's moving much better. He feels better out there. We'll see how he feels tomorrow and make a decision from there."
Suzuki is hitless in 10 at-bats with two walks and five strikeouts since signing on March 7.
"Unfortunately the leg injury with Ichiro slowed him down in the number of at-bats he can get and the comfort level he's got," Servais said. "It's more about just getting him healthy and making sure he's good to go when the bell rings on Thursday. The leg is what worries me, making sure he can move around and there's nothing he's guarding against in left field. Being able to cover the ground, he needs to get to out there. You can't protect him in the field. It's a big league game, a play in the outfield can sway the game one way or another, so you want to make sure he's very close to 100 percent when you put him there."
The 44-year-old made a nice running catch to the left-center gap to retire pinch hitter Pat Valaika to end the fourth with the bases loaded.
Suzuki is a 10-time All Star with 3,080 hits in 17 years in the majors.
Servais said they would further evaluate Suzuki in a workout Wednesday, a day ahead of the opener against Cleveland.
"I've very hopeful that Ichiro is going to be able to go," Servais said.
If Suzuki goes on the disabled list, a spot would open for utility player Taylor Motter.
"If Ichiro is not ready to go, Motter gives us a ton of flexibility," Servais said.
Notes: Rockies manager Bud Black said LHP Zac Rosscup has an issue with the middle finger of his pitching and will likely begin the season on the disabled list. If so, RHP Antonio Senzatela would be in the bullpen. ... Black said RHP Jon Gray, LHP Taylor Anderson and RHP German Marquez will start the first three games against Arizona.