Mariners Insider Blog

Ichiro moving back to right field

Besides the firing of Bill Bavasi and all that accompanied that. Manager John McLaren chose today as the day he would move Ichiro back to right field.

"I've been thinking about this for awhile," McLaren said. "I just want to him get that zest and smile back."

McLaren said that when he closes his eyes and thinks of Ichiro it's of "No. 51 out in right field and making plays."

And this move isn't temporary according to McLaren, it's permanent.

According to McLaren, Ichiro was fine with the switch, believing he's equally adept at both positions.

Besides moving Ichiro in the field, McLaren has also pondered moving Ichiro to third in the batting order. It's not something totally unique. Lou Piniella made a similar move in 2001.

Ichiro, who's very set in his routine, told McLaren that he's receptive "to any change that helps the ball club win."

Willie Bloomquist will start in place of Ichiro today, but Jeremy Reed, who was the opening day starting centerfielder in 2005 for the Ms, will move over there, and Wladimir Balentien will also see some time in center.

Here's today's line-ups

Ichiro RF

Lopez 2B

Vidro DH

Beltre 3B

Ibanez LF

Sexson 1B

Johjima C

Bloomquist CF

Betancourt SS


Silva P