Ichiro, Chone Figgins Leadoff For Mariners
Chone Figgins joins Ichiro at top of the Mariners order.
The Mariners will have one of the best 1-2 hitter combos in baseball in 2010 with Ichiro Suzuki and the newly signed Chone Figgins at the top of their batting order.
Figgins scored 26 more runs than Suzuki mostly because of the Mariners having a weak offense in 2009. Suzuki outhit Figgins by 225-183 a difference of 42 more hits for Suzuki. Figgins had 42 stolen bases in 2009 to the 26 by Suzuki.
Both Had Excellent On Base Percentage
Figgins and Suzuki compiled excellent on base percentages in 2009 with marks of .395 and .386 respectively. They weren’t even close in batting average with Suzuki hitting .352 and Figgins hitting .298.
Figgins drew 101 walks to only 32 by Suzuki. However if Suzuki had walked more he may have not finished with over 200 hits.
Mariners Need More Firepower
Between the two of them the Mariners could have their first two hitters on base to start many games in 2010. Their only problem is that the Mariners are lacking the firepower to drive them in with Russell Branyan who hit 31 homers in 2009 testing the waters as a free agent. Ken Griffey Jr. hit with power last season but needs to improve on his .214 batting average.
The Mariners aren’t through dealing yet so they should have another power hitter or two in the lineup by opening day of the 2010 season.
Bob Feller Interview on Studio 42
I watched Bob Costas interview Bob Feller on the Studio 42 program on the MLB Network last night. Feller said he was happy to have served his country during World War II even if it meant 100 less wins.
Feller told what it was like and what his strategy was when facing players of the past like Lou Gehrig, Ted Williams, Joe DiMaggio, Mickey Mantle and Hank Greenberg.
He said Mantle would hit the ball 500 feet off of Feller with 250 feet up and 250 feet down and that he didn’t have much problem getting Mantle out.
I am looking forward to more of these interviews. The MLB Network needs more shows like this which lets us learn more about our heroes from the past. It would be nice to include some of the current players in these interviews or have another program for modern players.
Gammons Moving to MLB Network
Peter Gammons will be moving to the MLB Network after the baseball meetings have ended. It is natural that Gammons would be on the 24 hour channel which covers baseball exclusively and leaving ESPN at which baseball had to share airtime with many other sports. I am looking forward to seeing him on the network soon.
More Hot Stove News
Edwin Jackson who was part of the three team trade will be pitching for his third team in three seasons when the takes the mound for the Diamondbacks in 2010. He had pitched for the Rays in 2008 and for the Tigers in 2009.
Curtis Granderson who will join the Yankees as part of the deal should hit more than his 30 homers of last season in Yankee Stadium which was a homer haven in its inaugural season. It remains to be seen if Johnny Damon returns for the 2010 season. If Damon remains with the Yankees then Melky Cabrera would become expendable especially if the Yankees were to sign Matt Holliday.
Former Chicago Cub Matt Murton who had been released by the Rockies has been signed by the Hanshin Tigers of the Japanese professional league.