Ichiro Suzuki interested in pitching for the Yankees

  • David Whitlock

Much like the New York Yankees Mariano Rivera expressed interest in playing outfield in the final year of his career (didn’t happen), the 4000-hit member Ichiro Suzuki would be “happy” if called upon to throw an inning for the Yankees, even if just in a blowout.  David Waldstein of the New York Times reports that Ichiro might be the next up if the Yankees need a mop up guy:

[Yankees manager Joe] Girardi, who has seen video of Suzuki’s appearance, said he would consider using him in an emergency.

“I’ll definitely ask him if he can do it,” Girardi said. “It looks like he has pretty good stuff.”

The video referred to is from an Nippon Professional Baseball League (NPBL) All-Star game.  Dayn Perry of CBS Eye on Baseball unearthed the footage of the very young superstar.

Ichiro was quick to boast of his stuff (via Waldstein):

“Fastball and slider,” [Ichiro] said with pride. “But like all Japanese pitchers, the splitter is my bread and butter.”

Suzuki does shoulder exercises and plays long toss to keep his arm strong all year long, he said, and could probably throw 40 to 50 pitches with no problem.

“If they need 100 pitches, I would have to get stretched out,” he said through his interpreter, Alan Turner.

There’s been a preponderance of position players called upon to pitch this season.  After Jose Canseco was injured in that manner, most stars are off limits for the duty.  However, at this stage of Ichiro’s career, I don’t think it would be too risky (over anyone else).

– David Whitlock

H/T Dayn Perry CBS Eye on Baseball

Related Articles:
WATCH: Ichiro Hits Woman in Face With Foul Liner
Pete Rose discounts Japanese hits for Ichiro, considers hit record safe
VIDEO: Ichiro gets his 4000th hit!

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David Whitlock

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David (a.k.a. Longhorndave or lhd_on_sports) joined the staff late in the 2012 season and moved to Site Manager in early 2013. A lifelong Houston Astros fan (and mini-season ticket holder for 9 years) he attends 20+ games per year. A statistics freak, David still keeps score the "old fashioned way" on occasion (and has kept manual score of World Series games since 1986 and retains the sheets). He was a featured guest weekly on the Phil Naessens Show. He is also a Texas Longhorns alumnus and huge football and baseball fan of his alma mater. When he isn't watching or writing about baseball, he works as a contractor at NASA Johnson Space Center. He lives by the mantra "a bad day at the ballpark is better than a good day anywhere else."

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