Mariners Insider Blog

Pregame notes and video: Wedge talks about Ichiro's day off

Obviously, the biggest question was about Ichiro and his off day. Mariners manager Eric Wedge didn't say anything earth shattering pregame.

He said that the veteran right fielder will sit today and be back in the lineup on Tuesday.

"Just giving him the day off," Wedge said. "It's a good time to do it with a left-hander throwing against us and the first day of a road trip."

At 38, a day off for Ichiro is a good thing.

"I think it does help him to have a day off every now and then," Wedge said.

The last time Ichiro sat was on May 30 when the Mariners defeated Texas, 21-8.

Wedge didn't dismiss the idea of Ichiro possible seeing more days off in the future, particularly if this seems to refresh. While he's in vastly better shape than most 38 year olds (and this writer who is younger than 38), Wedge said it might be necessary.

"It might be this year," Wedge said. "This is the second day we've given him. It's a long season. If we feel like he can benefit from it, then it makes sense to do that."

As for his hitting struggles, Wedge admitted that Ichiro's approach and unique swing makes it difficult for the staff to make know what exactly is at the roots of his struggles.

"When you get to the point where he is in his career, he knows his game more than anybody," Wedge said.

Since being moved back to the leadoff spot 15 games ago, Ichiro is hitting he is hitting .206 (14-for-68) with a .206 OBP -- meaning he hasn't walked once in that time.

Wedge said he isn't going to give up on Ichiro in that spot just yet.
"We gave him a couple months in the three hole, and we'll give him period of time (at lead-off) and hopefully he can get something going," Wedge said. "He's done it so much. He knows what to do there."

Mariners top pitching prospect Danny Hultzen was named the Southern League pitcher of the week for the second straight week. Hultzen made one start, pitching eight scoreless innings and allowing just two hits, while striking out eight.

Here's today's minor league report ...