As one of the best hitters in the history of baseball — both in America and over in Japan — Ichiro Suzuki has gained a ton of respect from the sport. He knows how to hit anything and everything and although his career is nearing an end, he wants to try his hand at pitching for the New York Yankees.
The 40-year-old outfielder has just a limited amount of solid playing time left in him and even though he’s hitting over .350 this season — with just 65 at-bats — he knows that his career is winding down.
After seeing infielder Danny Worth pitch a scoreless inning for the Detroit Tigers, people around baseball have been talking about position players who could excel as pitchers. Apparently Joe Girardi likes the kind of stuff Ichiro has after seeing a video of him pitching in an all-star game in Japan.
He said he would consider asking Ichiro to pitch in a desperate situation:
“I’ll definitely ask him if he can do it. It looks like he has pretty good stuff.”
Ichiro wasn’t too shy to boast about his stuff, either:
“Fastball and slider,” [Ichiro] said with pride. “But like all Japanese pitchers, the splitter is my bread and butter. If they need 100 pitches, I would have to get stretched out.”
All of this was said through his interpreter and he also claimed that he would be good for about 40-50 pitches, if need be.
In my opinion, this shows just how desperate Ichiro has become concerning playing time. Averaging about 650 at-bats a year throughout his career and having just 65 though a fourth of the season has to be hard on the veteran.
Have to feel bad for Ichiro at this point.