Miami Marlins News: Ichiro Against 1B; Phelps Loses Arbitration Case


The plan for the Miami Marlins for fourth outfielder Ichiro Suzuki is to get him as many plate appearances as they can. That means he’ll be the team’s first option off the bench in a pinch hitting role and could see extensive time if one of the Marlins starting outfielders were to go down.

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One position the team won’t be seeing Ichiro at will be first base, as Ichiro was not comfortable with the idea when the Marlins broached him on it. This is according to Barry Jackson of the Miami Herald.

"The Marlins broached the idea of fourth outfielder Ichiro Suzuki possibly playing backup first base to get him more at-bats, but Ichiro hasn’t played there since high school and wasn’t comfortable with that."

First base is generally seen as the easiest position on the diamond to play, as it does not have the same taxing plays as other positions, like shortstop do. But that doesn’t mean it’s an easy position for any player to transition to, especially if they haven’t played that position in a long time.

Ichiro will be entering his age 41-season in 2015 and has enjoyed a long successful career. He has every right to tell the Marlins that he’s not open to a move to first base.

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The Marlins signed Ichiro despite his unwillingness to play first at times, so that’s obviously not going to be a big deal in 2015.

What this does is open up an opportunity for someone like Derek Dietrich or Justin Bour to make the Marlins roster. Bour is a traditional first baseman while Dietrich has been working a lot of the offseason on adjusting to the position, in case the team needs to place him there.

David Phelps Loses Arbitration Case:

The Marlins have likely wrapped up their last signing of the offseason. On Friday, it was announced that the Miami Marlins had defeated newly acquired pitcher David Phelps in salary arbitration.

Phelps had requested $1.875 million from the Marlins, but he will earn $1.4 million in the upcoming season. This raises the likelihood of him latching onto the team out of spring training. The salary will be $100,000 more than the $1.3 million projected by MLBTR contributor Matt Swartz.

David Phelps came to the Miami Marlins this offseason in a trade with the New York Yankees. The trade sent Martin Prado and David Phelps to Miami for Nathan Eovaldi, Garrett Jones, and Domingo German.  

Appearing in 32 games last season – 17 starts – Phelps threw 113 innings for the Yankees in 2014. 4.38 ERA, 4.41 FIP, with a 7.3 K/9, 3.7 BB/9 and a 41.2 percent ground-ball rate.

Phelps will likely be in a similar role with the Marlins as he was with the Yanks last season. He’ll have a chance to make the team’s starting rotation coming out of spring training, but is more likely to make spot starts and be the long man in the Fish bullpen.

Next: Marlins Roundtable: Recapping the Offseason