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Dear Ichiro


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#1
tradedollarnut

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It would be nice if our $18M per #3 hitter had a hit in spring training. Just one. Even if an infield dribbler.

Maybe if he hadn't been the last to arrive...
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#2
Vidya

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Maybe, but $18M per year players can afford to be the last player to arrive in ST. He doesn't need to hit well in ST, but he does need to get the job done once the regular season starts. If he can no longer do the job, then we have to hope that Wedge can find someone who will. As for me, I'm hoping that more than one of our young players will be pushing Ichiro for the spot. That's way more important to the team right now than what Ichiro does.
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My 2014 AAP's:
James Jones, Rainiers outfielder extraordinaire.

Ji-Man Choi, Rainiers slugging first baseman.

Carson Smith, Rainiers bullpen.

Logan Kensing, Rainiers bullpen.

Jesus Montero, trimmed down and ready to go.

Sorry, Ji-Man, but really? Maybe when you get off the restricted list, Montero will have been promoted. 

Carson is doing a fine job, but Logan has been dominant and deserves recognition.


#3
DocMilo

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Ichiro should be throwing bullpens twice per week. With Montero getting most of his AB's at DH, the M's have plenty of OF in Carp, Wells, Saunders and Catricala. Did I forget Gutierrez? Shame on me. The M's have the perfect RF in Casper Wells. Casper is a guy with a strong arm and has the power to hit the ball out of the park in the non summer months.

Ichiro does need to show what is in the tank this spring. If he can't get the job done, he should do the honorable thing and step aside.
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#4
Pirata Morado

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4 games of meaningless ST games, in which Ichiro hasn't even played all of them, and people already want him out. New record!
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#5
Shaggy

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Ichiro had a horrible spring training his first year coming to the Mariners. If I recall correctly, Lou was doubtful he would be able to hit at all in the Majors. I'm willing to bet Ichiro is working on adjustments at the plate. So, I wouldn't write him off just yet. (gak, I have to go wash my hands, I just typed something in support of Ichiro. I feel like I just rooted for the Yankees)
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#6
Huindekmi

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Ichiro has had only one good year out of the past four. In two of those years, he was just below league average. Last year, he was one of the worst offensive outfielders in the league. Age is catching up with him. So much so that he chose to completely overhaul his approach at the plate - a very risky move.

Either that change is going to work, or it's going to fail miserably. People just want to see signs that those changes are actually working.

And I believe intrasquad games are being counted in that hitless streak, even though they don't show up in the official Cactus League stats.
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Adopt-a-Players:
*new* Alex Jackson - Welcome aboard, AJaxx!

2014 Hitting .289/.333/.500/.833 in Peoria.

 

Forrest Snow - Working as a swingman and spot-starter for Tacoma.
2014 AAA/AA: 2-3, 2.35 ERA, 46 K, 12 BB, 1.065 WHIP - more to come!
2013 AAA/AA: 5-5, 2.96 ERA, 84 K, 28 BB, 1.085 WHIP

2012 AAA/AA: 5-9, 6.35 ERA, 99K, 67 BB, 1.674 WHIP


Gone But Not Forgotten (former adopt-a-players):
Eric Thames - Hitting .336/.423/.645/1.068 in Korea (304 plate appearances).
Matt Mangini - Out of baseball. Assistant coach for a high school.
Mike Morse - Hitting .273/.325/.472/.796 for the Giants. (sure would look good as our DH about now)
Jamal Strong - Let go after 2005. Played in the Yankees, Cubs and Braves systems. Now a regional scout for the Cards.


Updated: 06/27/2014


#7
Pirata Morado

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Ichiro has had only one good year out of the past four. In two of those years, he was just below league average. Last year, he was one of the worst offensive outfielders in the league. Age is catching up with him. So much so that he chose to completely overhaul his approach at the plate - a very risky move.

Either that change is going to work, or it's going to fail miserably. People just want to see signs that those changes are actually working.

And I believe intrasquad games are being counted in that hitless streak, even though they don't show up in the official Cactus League stats.

My bad. So what's that? A 5 game hitless streak? Why hasn't he been cut from the team already?
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#8
Huindekmi

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My bad. So what's that? A 5 game hitless streak? Why hasn't he been cut from the team already?


Thank you for ignoring the entire context of my post and focusing only on one small item.

The decline has been going on for the past 600+ games, becoming most obvious last season over the course of 721 plate appearances.

But, yeah. If you want to think that it's only about the past 5 games, then go right ahead.
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Adopt-a-Players:
*new* Alex Jackson - Welcome aboard, AJaxx!

2014 Hitting .289/.333/.500/.833 in Peoria.

 

Forrest Snow - Working as a swingman and spot-starter for Tacoma.
2014 AAA/AA: 2-3, 2.35 ERA, 46 K, 12 BB, 1.065 WHIP - more to come!
2013 AAA/AA: 5-5, 2.96 ERA, 84 K, 28 BB, 1.085 WHIP

2012 AAA/AA: 5-9, 6.35 ERA, 99K, 67 BB, 1.674 WHIP


Gone But Not Forgotten (former adopt-a-players):
Eric Thames - Hitting .336/.423/.645/1.068 in Korea (304 plate appearances).
Matt Mangini - Out of baseball. Assistant coach for a high school.
Mike Morse - Hitting .273/.325/.472/.796 for the Giants. (sure would look good as our DH about now)
Jamal Strong - Let go after 2005. Played in the Yankees, Cubs and Braves systems. Now a regional scout for the Cards.


Updated: 06/27/2014


#9
DocMilo

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4 games of meaningless ST games, in which Ichiro hasn't even played all of them, and people already want him out. New record!

I don't want Ichiro out. I want the M's to field the best team possible. Something wrong about that?
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#10
AlMoStLeGeNdArY

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Ichiro has had only one good year out of the past four. In two of those years, he was just below league average. Last year, he was one of the worst offensive outfielders in the league. Age is catching up with him. So much so that he chose to completely overhaul his approach at the plate - a very risky move.

Either that change is going to work, or it's going to fail miserably. People just want to see signs that those changes are actually working.

And I believe intrasquad games are being counted in that hitless streak, even though they don't show up in the official Cactus League stats.


How many players on last years team would of loved to see hit .272 last year?

Ichiro's BABIP last year was .295 his average for his career is .351. I don't believe that's age getting to Ichiro it's just bad luck. If his BABIP doesn't tank like it did last year you'll see his numbers go back up.

I don't understand how you can consider a year where a player hits over .300 a bad year. I think the easiest way Ichiro will improve is to be more selective at the plate. If he stops swinging a bad pitches he'll get better contact and hit the ball harder.

In the end I think moving him to the 3 hole may work out. As long as Ichiro cut's down on the balls he's swings at he can improve his contact and get the barrel on the ball. With that not only will we see Ichiro generate more power but I believe his walks will go up as well.

Also I like to point out that last year Derek Jeter also changed his approach at the plate . A huge thing was made out of it about his age + and that other noise. However, all derek jeter did was bounce back after coming off a down year much like Ichiro. So people we stick the knife into Ichiro can we play out the regular season ?

Edited by AlMoStLeGeNdArY, 06 March 2012 - 09:31 AM.

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#11
Pirata Morado

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Thank you for ignoring the entire context of my post and focusing only on one small item.

The decline has been going on for the past 600+ games, becoming most obvious last season over the course of 721 plate appearances.

But, yeah. If you want to think that it's only about the past 5 games, then go right ahead.

The topic of the thread was about Spring Trainning

It would be nice if our $18M per #3 hitter had a hit in spring training. Just one. Even if an infield dribbler.


Now, in the past 4 seasons (631 games) Ichiro has accumulated 836 hits, can you please show me one player not named Pujols with so many hits in any 631 game span?

Edited by Pirata Morado, 06 March 2012 - 09:30 AM.

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#12
Huindekmi

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2011 OPS
Ichiro: .645
League average outfielder: .733
Rank: 69th of 73 qualifying players

2010 OPS
Ichiro: .754
League average outfielder: .761
Rank: 36th of 70 qualifying players

2008 OPS
Ichiro: .747
League average outfielder: .774
Rank: 45th of 67 qualifying players


Hitting singles is only one part of the game. If you're not going to hit for power and you're not going to draw walks, you need to hit A LOT of singles to compensate. For the early part of Ichiro's career, he hit more than enough to compensate for the lack of power and lack of walks. In three of the past four seasons, he hasn't hit enough to compensate, rendering him a league average outfielder or worse.

Getting old sucks, but it happens to everyone.
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Adopt-a-Players:
*new* Alex Jackson - Welcome aboard, AJaxx!

2014 Hitting .289/.333/.500/.833 in Peoria.

 

Forrest Snow - Working as a swingman and spot-starter for Tacoma.
2014 AAA/AA: 2-3, 2.35 ERA, 46 K, 12 BB, 1.065 WHIP - more to come!
2013 AAA/AA: 5-5, 2.96 ERA, 84 K, 28 BB, 1.085 WHIP

2012 AAA/AA: 5-9, 6.35 ERA, 99K, 67 BB, 1.674 WHIP


Gone But Not Forgotten (former adopt-a-players):
Eric Thames - Hitting .336/.423/.645/1.068 in Korea (304 plate appearances).
Matt Mangini - Out of baseball. Assistant coach for a high school.
Mike Morse - Hitting .273/.325/.472/.796 for the Giants. (sure would look good as our DH about now)
Jamal Strong - Let go after 2005. Played in the Yankees, Cubs and Braves systems. Now a regional scout for the Cards.


Updated: 06/27/2014


#13
Pirata Morado

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2011 OPS
Ichiro: .645
League average outfielder: .733
Rank: 69th of 73 qualifying players

2010 OPS
Ichiro: .754
League average outfielder: .761
Rank: 36th of 70 qualifying players

2008 OPS
Ichiro: .747
League average outfielder: .774
Rank: 45th of 67 qualifying players


Hitting singles is only one part of the game. If you're not going to hit for power and you're not going to draw walks, you need to hit A LOT of singles to compensate. For the early part of Ichiro's career, he hit more than enough to compensate for the lack of power and lack of walks. In three of the past four seasons, he hasn't hit enough to compensate, rendering him a league average outfielder or worse.

Getting old sucks, but it happens to everyone.

Yeah, I knew it would be hard to find me a hitter with as many hits as Ichiro did in his decline 4 years. Even Pujols, in his last 4 seasons (614 games) has only 729 hits, 107 less than Ichiro.

I insist, the topic of the thread is hits, not OPS, we are not discussing OPS here, the topic asked for one Ichiro hit, which he has had, in his decline years, more than anybody in the majors...
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#14
Sandy - Raleigh

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Ichiro's BABIP last year was .295 his average for his career is .351. I don't believe that's age getting to Ichiro it's just bad luck. If his BABIP doesn't tank like it did last year you'll see his numbers go back up.


In 2009, Griffey returned to Seattle, had a decent season and got carried off the field.

I noted *BEFORE* the 2010 season that Griffey was done ... because a crash in BABIP is "routinely" a clear sign of waning ability ... not luck.

Griffey finished with a career BABIP of .287 ... which was basically identical to his BA (.284) for his career.

In 2009, while he managed a .745 OPS ... his performance was aided by a .196 ISO in 2009, (his best since 2007). In 2004, while his overall line was nominally acceptable, (though a .745 OPS for a DH is generally not acceptable), his BABIP was .220 in 2009. That was a 67 point plunge from normalcy. That is OUTSIDE the bounds of "lucky". The same argument about Sexson rebounding was made based on his BABIP being "off-the-charts" unlucky when he first tanked.

In 2010, Griffey managed to again post a .220 BABIP. But, his average was only .184, and his ISO plunged to .020. He was done, done, done, done, done. And I said as much during ST of 2010.

When one looks at Ichiro's 2011 stats and sees a .295 BABIP off a .351 career norm, one needs to understand, the WORST BABIP of his career was .316 ... and that was in the one season Ichiro "attempted" to be a power hitter, (2005), which is when he set his career high for ISO (.133).

Ichiro has been moved to #3 in the lineup - an "RBI" slot. So, he is expected to deliver more power. The one time when he tried this, it knocked about 40 points off his BABIP.

So, his 2011 season, he was 20 points under his previous worst BABIP ... which was established in his prime, while attempting to hit for more power.

While I appreciate that Ichiro has always stayed in good shape ... and I understand his adaptability has historically been off the scale ... and I will preface this by stating that if any 38-year-old is capable of completely retooling his game and make a successful go of it, Ichiro is such a guy ... the FACTS are these:

1) He set a career worst by 20 points in BABIP ... and was 56 points under his career BABIP average. That is "typically" a sign of lost *ABILITY*. If he were 31, then one would suspect injury. At age 37, the simplest explanation is loss of ability due to age. Just like Griffey, the odds of him regaining a .330+ BABIP is extremely low.

2) In 2011, he also set a career worst in ISO (.064). His career average is only .096 ... but after being over .100 in 4 of his first 5 seasons, he has been under .100 in 5 of the last six. Despite the discussions of how great Ichiro can be in regards to power during batting practice, the one time in his prime he attempted to expand his power game, he had one of his worst seasons. He has been moved in a position where he will be expected to hit for more power, when his history says this will make his overall performance WORSE, not better.

3) A significant reason behind Ichiro's hit success has always been his infield hit totals. For his career, he has a 12.7% infield hit rate. In 2011, he managed only 10%, (his second worst rate ... only 2005 ... the year he tried to hit for power ... was worse). Part of the reason he has managed to continue putting up great hit totals in 2009 and 2010 was he managed 50 and 53 infield hits those two seasons. In 2011, that dropped to only 36. Ichiro is NOT getting younger. The odds are high that this decline is related specifically to him being just a tiny bit slower, (and also impacts directly his BABIP). However, in addition to the natural decline from aging, in 2012, Ichiro is slated to hit third ... meaning people on base in front of him ... meaning greater possibility of forceouts ... meaning his number of infield hits is likely to suffer even more.

=========

Honestly, if I had to guess right now ... this moment ... based on the math, his age, his 2011 performance, his lineup position ... his declining defensive performance ...

I'd say that odds are about even that if he struggles in 2012 ... something like 2011 ... a .260 average with no walks or power ... I think Ichiro gets hit 2,500 and announces his retirement. He enters the season at 2,428 ... that is 72 hits away from the 2,500 level. I see zero chance of him walking away without reaching that milestone. But, unless he does find a retooled swing that allows him to manage a .300 average ... (which I see as maybe a 10% chance of happening) ... this is Ichiro's final season in MLB.

I just cannot see Ichiro sticking around to be the worst hitter on the team. Given the lineup improvements around him, if he does produce something like a .260/.310/.320 line for any length of time ... he could, in fact, become the team's worst hitter this year.

While it is WAAAAAAY too early to write him off, the odds are not in his favor. He is 38 ... and he is not Benjamin Button.

As to the contention that Jeter "bounced back". Jeter dropped 120 points off his career OPS and "bounced back" to only 90 off his career OPS. Ichiro just posted an OPS 146 points below his career. A similar bounce gets Ichiro back to 116 under his career .. which would be a .675 OPS for the season.

So, here is the $18 million question. If any hitter other than Ichiro were hitting .675 while batting third in the lineup, what would be the proper thing to do?
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The purpose of government is to set the minimum standard of behavior for a society, backed up with the power and authority to police and punish those who fail to meet those minimum standards. The purpose of Religion is to encourage people to exceed those standards voluntarily.

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Age 25 - RH - (2B/UT) - (as of 8/19/2014)
Stefen Romero - mnrs - 1547-PA; 85-2B; 60-HR; 271-RBI; 36-SB; 21-CS; 96-BB; 250-K; .311/.361/.523 -- .884
MAJORS - 180-PA; 6-2B; 2-3B; 3-HR; 11-RBI; 0-SB; 3-CS; 4-BB; 46-K; .196/.236/.310 -- .545

Age 23 - LH - (LF) - (as of 8/19/2014)
Dario Pizzano - 2014 - 451-PA; 30-2B; 11-HR; 71-RBI; 1-SB; 1-CS; 64-BB; 49-K; .245/.357/.445 -- .802 (A+/AA)
Dario Pizzano - mnrs - 1232-PA; 88-2B; 23-HR; 170-RBI; 12-SB; 5-CS; 155-BB; 134-K; .296/.389/.469 -- .858

Age 23 - RH - (CF) - (as of 8/19/2014)
Jabari Henry - 2014 - 473-PA; 24-2B; 28-HR; 92-RBI; 6-SB; 8-CS; 63-BB; 99-K; .294/.400/.585 -- .986 (A+)
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Jabari Blash - 2014 - 299-PA; 14-2B; 0-3B; 17-HR; 57-RBI; 6-SB; 2-CS; 39-BB; 81-K; .228/.351/.492 -- .843 (AA/AAA)
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#15
Pirata Morado

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Well said Sandy.

All I meant is that it seemed WAYY TOO EARLY to write him off because he is hitless in 3 (or whatever) ST games.

Edited by Pirata Morado, 06 March 2012 - 12:02 PM.

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#16
Leo Gomez

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But, unless he does find a retooled swing that allows him to manage a .300 average ... (which I see as maybe a 10% chance of happening) ... this is Ichiro's final season in MLB.



Or he becomes a 5th starter/long man in the bullpen, pitches until he's 55, and retires with 200 wins.

It could happen. :thumbsup:
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Go Cougs.

 

Run, Leo, Run.

 

@thesd


#17
Pirata Morado

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And there's Ichiro's first hit of ST...
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#18
Huindekmi

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Two now. Good. That monkey is off our back.

Figgins.... you're on the clock.
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Adopt-a-Players:
*new* Alex Jackson - Welcome aboard, AJaxx!

2014 Hitting .289/.333/.500/.833 in Peoria.

 

Forrest Snow - Working as a swingman and spot-starter for Tacoma.
2014 AAA/AA: 2-3, 2.35 ERA, 46 K, 12 BB, 1.065 WHIP - more to come!
2013 AAA/AA: 5-5, 2.96 ERA, 84 K, 28 BB, 1.085 WHIP

2012 AAA/AA: 5-9, 6.35 ERA, 99K, 67 BB, 1.674 WHIP


Gone But Not Forgotten (former adopt-a-players):
Eric Thames - Hitting .336/.423/.645/1.068 in Korea (304 plate appearances).
Matt Mangini - Out of baseball. Assistant coach for a high school.
Mike Morse - Hitting .273/.325/.472/.796 for the Giants. (sure would look good as our DH about now)
Jamal Strong - Let go after 2005. Played in the Yankees, Cubs and Braves systems. Now a regional scout for the Cards.


Updated: 06/27/2014


#19
6-pak-abs

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And there's number three. :baseball_bat:
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Adopt a player: Justin Seager

#20
tradedollarnut

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Ask and ye shall receive....
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