Friday, April 3, 2009

Ichiro to start season on DL

The Seattle Mariners announced on Friday that outfielder Ichiro Suzuki will start the season on the 15-day disabled list after suffering a bleeding ulcer. Suzuki had missed the Mariners' last three Cactus League contests because of fatigue brought on by the ulcer, which is not bleeding anymore.

Suzuki is expected to miss the team's first eight games.

Here is the official release:

All-Star Outfielder Will Miss at Least Eight Games.

PEORIA, Ariz. -- Seattle Mariners Executive Vice President & General Manager of Baseball Operations Jack Zduriencik announced today that All-Star outfielder Ichiro Suzuki will be placed on the 15-day disabled list, retroactive to March 31, and will miss the first week of the regular season.

Ichiro had been suffering severe fatigue, causing him to miss the Mariners last three Cactus League games (March 30-April 1). He was examined by doctors in Arizona who determined that he had suffered a bleeding ulcer. The ulcer is not bleeding now, but in the interim, doctors have ordered restricted activity.

"It was a very difficult decision to place Ichiro on the disabled list," Zduriencik said, "especially since we know what a fierce competitor he is, and how important it is to him to help the team. However, we determined it was in both his best interest, and the best interest of the club, to place him on the DL at this time."

Ichiro will be eligible to return to Major League games on Wednesday, April 15.

Suzuki appeared in four games with the Mariners in Spring Training, hitting .417 (5-for-12). He reported to camp on Thursday, March 26, after leading Team Japan to its second consecutive World Baseball Classic championship.

Ichiro has played in 197 consecutive games (dating back to Aug. 26, 2007), the 4th-longest active Iron Man streak in the Majors. He has played in 807 of Mariners last 810 games over the last five seasons, and since coming to Seattle in 2001, has played in 1,280 of 1,296 possible games (missed only 16 games in 8 years).

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