03/31/09 1:45 PM ET
Light-headed Ichiro given day off
Eight-time All-Star expected to be at full speed for season opener
By Jim Street / MLB.com
Ichiro, who helped Team Japan capture its second straight Classic championship, said when he reported to camp last week that the tournament was much more difficult this time because the expectations in his homeland were so high.The three-week tournament apparently wore him out. "I think it's a good move prior to the [regular] season just to recharge his battery," Wakamatsu said. "Watching him warm up [on Monday], I could tell he was a little run down. I was going to take him out [of the lineup], but he said he wanted two at-bats." Ichiro started against the Brewers, played three innings and went 1-for-2, raising his Cactus League batting average to .417 (5-for-12). The eight-time All-Star is expected to be ready to go full speed when the regular season opens on April 6 against the Twins in Minneapolis. Seattle has two Cactus League games remaining in Arizona, then will play the Rockies on Friday night and Saturday afternoon in Las Vegas.
Jim Street is a reporter for MLB.com. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.