The Seattle Times round table forum with the other beat writers raised some interesting issues. As they say: If you really want to know what's up, find out what your opponents think of you. Who is the most feared hitter in the AL West? Ichiro.
What does 200 hits mean a year? Well, not too much, if it just means getting on first or second base 200 times.
One of the beat writers had the idea that Ichiro should bat third in the lineup, and transfer all of those marvelous hits into RBIs.
Here's a theory: walks and hits are equal when the bases are empty, but hits become more valuable the more loaded the bases are. With the bases loaded and two outs, you would rather have a hit than a walk, because of a better chance of scoring two runs on a single or three runs on a double. I'm sure someone already thought of this and I am reinventing the wheel.
So, here we have Figgins, who walks well, is speedy, and does not hit nearly as much as Ichiro available for leadoff. Why not put him in the 1 hole, Lopez or Gutierrez in the 2 hole and have Ichiro clean house while people are on base?
In 2009, Ichiro went to base 297 times and only scored 88 times. He only had 46 RBIs.
By comparison, Chone figgins made base 242 times with 114 runs and 54 RBI.
Both players have an on base percentage hovering under 400.
Ichiro, as deployed, is no more valuable than Chone Figgins when it comes to the bottom line.
Ichiro, as he could be deployed, would have some serious opportunites to knock in runs.
Why are the M's squandering hall of fame talent?