Ichiro Suzuki has been placed on the disabled list due to a bleeding ulcer that was affecting him with symptoms including extreme fatigue. The placement is retroactive to March 31 meaning that Ichiro is eligible to return to action on tax day, April 15th, at the earliest. For fans in Seattle, that means he will miss the home opener (April 14th) and it also means that Ichiro is going to miss a minimum of eight games.
This is Ichiro’s first stint on the disabled list during his American career. Remarkably, the minimum eight games that he will miss to start the 2009 season is equal to one half of the total number of games that he has missed over his previous eight seasons combined. From 2001-8 Ichiro played in 1,280 of 1,296 possible games.
This is obviously bad news for Mariner fans, and continues the incredible rate of attrition going on amongst name players in the AL West this Spring, but the good news is that it is nothing more serious than this. According to reports, the ulcer has stopped bleeding, and the DL move seems more precautionary than anything. Although the news is still too fresh to have a statement on the expectation for when he will return, at the moment, the language seems to lend itself toward suggesting that Ichiro will only miss the minimum amount of time.
How much time he does end up missing is going to have a big impact on the already small chances the Mariners have at post season contention this season. They’ve already lost the upside of Brandon Morrow in the rotation and decided to send Jeff Clement down to the minors to start the year. Losing any significant amount of games from Ichiro would pretty much torpedo their hopes for 2009.
Who is the injury bug going to strike next?
Matthew Carruth is a software engineer who has been fascinated with baseball statistics since age five. When not dissecting baseball, he is watching hockey or playing soccer.