Ichiro Not Scoring Runs in 2010

Ichiro Suzuki scored his 56th run of the season last night and is now on pace to score only 73 runs for the season. Until last year, Ichiro had scored at least 100 in his first eight big league seasons. His on base percentage has been normal relative to the rest of his career and he has perfect attendance this year, so the problem really comes down to one thing – his teammates. Here are the on base plus slugging numbers of the hitters one through nine of the Mariners on the season courtesy of Baseball Reference:

1st – .755
2nd – .621
3rd – .680
4th – .684
5th – .558
6th – .682
7th – .582
8th – .638
9th – .601

Ichiro should be hitting third based on these numbers. How in the world can a team spend $77 million and have the whole team aside from Ichiro have a lower OPS than Omar Vizquel? What about a number five hitter having a .558 OPS on average this season? The Mariners have some guys in Justin Smoak and Dustin Ackley that should eventually be pretty good, but who knows how much longer Ichiro will be around. His contract runs until 2012, but given that he’s their highest paid player if the M’s have a chance to deal him next year, they probably will. Their team could get better in the offseason, but they have too many holes to compete.

In other fantasy news from Monday…..

  • Rich Harden teased the world again yesterday by not allowing a hit in 6.2 innings. The five walks spoiled any hope that Harden had of giving up the hit himself rather than Neftali Feliz. Please don’t pick up Harden. It might seem innocent, but you’ll only get hurt in the end.
  • The Braves are treating Mike Minor with kid gloves and are justified in doing so. He will pitch on seven days rest rather than four days rest after striking out twelve in his last outing.
  • Edinson Volquez looked awful against the Giants in 0.2 innings. He walked the first batter of the game and couldn’t settle down after Buster Posey had a swinging bat in the second at-bat of the game. After that at-bat everything hit off of Volquez was hit well.
  • Johnny Damon appears more likely to stay in Detroit, but let’s see what he says now that he has slept on the possibility of a return to the place that made him famous.
  • Jose Bautista has a chance of hitting 50 home runs for the season. If he keeps hitting them at the pace he has all season, he will get there. Playing the Yankees more will help – Bautista has 6 home runs in 37 at-bats against the defending champs.
  • Orlando Cabrera keeps getting his return to the Cincinnati lineup pushed back. He will most likely return on Friday.
  • Scott Kazmir faced his former team last night and didn’t do all that well. Interesting story about why Kazmir is no longer with the Rays on Rays Index.