Fantasy Baseball: Can Ichiro Suzuki Turn It Around?

Jul 6, 2012


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Seattle Mariners outfielder Ichiro Suzuki began to show his age. In the performance-enhancing days of yesteryear turning 37 didn’t necessarily mean that you slowed down. In some cases, it seemed  you got better. Ichiro Suzuki struggled last year and is off to a slow start. Can he turn it around?
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Thanks to ten straight 200 hit, +.300 seasons, Ichiro has a lifetime average of .323. Last year marked the first time he failed to reach 200 hits, and his .272 average was proof of the decline. He scored 80 runs, but that is more of an indictment on Seattle’s offense as he had scored 88 and 74 runs in the two prior years.
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That didn’t mean Ichiro didn’t have value though as he swiped 40 bases in 2011. Obviously a .272-80-5-47-40 line isn’t ideal in five category leagues, but the stolen bases did go a long way.
Flash forward to 2012 and you are dealing with some similar issues.
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The batting average has dipped to .262. With 40 runs through 84 games you’re looking at roughly 80 runs. His four home runs and 27 RBI are on pace for about eight and 54. Ichrio has just 11 stolen bases on the year, which puts him on pace for a career low of about 22. He only had less than thirty SBs once, in 2009 when he was limited to 146 games.
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Last year Ichiro was slightly better (.274 vs. .270), but for his career he hits seven points lower after the All-Star Break.
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Ichiro has been dreadful at home, hitting .217 at Safeco and .302 on the road. He has 40 home games remaining vs. 38 road games, which works a little into his favor, but at 38, I am not expecting a fountain of youth.
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I wouldn’t suggest dropping him since he still could get on a roll in the stolen base category. I just wouldn’t religiously plug him into your lineup like you have in the past. Play the match-up game with him and use him when the schedule dictates it.
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