MINNEAPOLIS -- Mariners right fielder Ichiro Suzuki was the leadoff hitter for both teams in a five-inning Rookie League intrasquad game on Thursday afternoon in Peoria, Ariz.
"He went home looking and feeling great," said Ken Barron, Ichiro's interpreter, in an email. Ichiro did not play defense.
In addition to the game action, Ichiro's blood test yesterday showed encouraging results, and at this point it looks like he'll either re-join the team in Oakland over the weekend or for a workout at Safeco on Monday. He definitely seems set to return from the DL in the minimum amount of time. Which is terrific news, because Endy Chavez is a leadoff hitter like I'm a rock wall with ancient cavemen on it.
Unless I'm mistaken, we'll be able to put Chavez, Gutierrez, and Ichiro together in the outfield just in time for Washburn's next start. And he thought his day couldn't get any better.