Ichiro Suzuki of the Seattle Mariners is off to a slow start. He hit .259 in April with just six stolen bases. But recently, he has picked up his slack.
For the month of May, he is hitting .319 with 18 stolen bases and his on-base percentage is up .072 from April. He is starting to look like the old Ichiro when he broke the single season hits record in 2004.
Even though Ichiro is coming around, the entire Mariners team is still in the slums. Like it has been in the past few years, the Mariners' offense is anemic. Ichiro gets on base. Ichiro is left on base.
We can look at two key players that are struggling this year: "Big Sexy" and Johjima. Richie Sexson has never been a hitter that hit for average but this year, he is right on the Mendoza Line through May. You can't expect a guy hitting on the Mendoza Line to drive in Ichiro.
Kenji Johjima is on the same boat. He is hitting .228 with 2 home runs and 14 RBIs. His on-base percentage and batting average is .06 below his average from last year.
The Mariners need someone that can hit for average and for power, someone like Albert Pujols or Lance Berkman. Until they find a player that can hit for power and average to drive Ichiro home, the Mariners will always underachieve and will never see a season like the one they had in 2001.