Ichiro: No sense of loss after removed from roster

Ichiro Suzuki

Ichiro Suzuki

Effective immediately, Ichiro will become a special assistant to the chairman and will have an active presence with the team and assist with outfield play, base running and hitting.

"We want to make sure we capture all of the value that Ichiro brings to this team off the field", general manager Jerry Dipoto said in a press release.

Speaking to reporters in Seattle on Thursday, Ichiro said he will take on his new role if it helps the team he loves.

Seattle's staff and players have raved about Suzuki's presence in the clubhouse. "That is our number-one priority and Ichiro's number-one priority".

If Ichiro doesn't play again, he would end his professional career with 4,367 professional hits spread between Major League Baseball and Japan, where he played for nine seasons.

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Suzuki had appeared in 15 games for the Mariners in 2018, recording nine hits in 45 at-bats (all singles).

Ichiro's agent, John Boggs, told The Athletic's Ken Rosenthal, "He is not retiring".

Ichiro is one of only seven players to have both 3,000-plus hits and 500-plus stolen bases in his career. He's also played for Miami and the New York Yankees. If he were to never play another Major League Baseball game, he would retire with 3089 hits (most among active players) and 509 stolen bases (2nd most among active players behind Jose Reyes). But when you combine that with his Japan Pacific League numbers, that total rises to 4,367.

The team has put him in an advisory role and he will therefore not play for the rest of the season. Ben Gamel rejoined the M's in mid-April after starting the year on the disabled list with an oblique injury, and Guillermo Heredia was recalled from Triple-A Tacoma this week after missing several minor league games with a wrist injury suffered on a hit by pitch. One that includes 10 All-Star Game appearances and winning the AL MVP in his rookie season.

With the Mariners in the midst of a losing season in 2012 and the future not looking good, Ichiro asked for a trade to the Yankees. Seattle opens the year with a special 2019 Opening Series slate of games against the Oakland A's at the Tokyo Dome in Japan, who Suzuki starting his professional career and is still maintains iconic status. That was the first of 10 straight seasons that Ichiro had more than 200 hits.

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