Former All-Star outfielder Ichiro Suzuki was back in the Seattle Mariners clubhouse Tuesday afternoon participating in coaches meetings as he gets ready to begin a new role with the organization.
“I will say he’s the first coach I’ve ever had come into a coach’s meeting with batting gloves on,” Mariners manager Scott Servais said, smiling. “But, it didn’t really surprise me that much.”
The club announced Tuesday that Ichiro will maintain his title from last season as Special Assistant to the Chairman, but will now report to general manager Jerry Dipoto.
He will work as an instructor with the big-league club and Tacoma, focusing on outfield play, base running and hitting.
Servais said he invited Ichiro to the meetings Tuesday to get him as much exposure as he could to what goes on behind the scenes in the clubhouse — including preparing for upcoming series, working with players and joining in conversations pertaining to development.
“He wants to kind of ease into it, but as far as the meetings go, I want to give him exposure,” Servais said.
Ichiro will work most Mariners home games, spending time working with players during pregame actitivies.
He retired from his playing career following the March 21 game in Japan as the active MLB hits leader (3,089).