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Friday, May 23, 2014

NYT: Suzuki Would Relish a Chance to Pitch One More Time

But if the game had continued longer, it could have been the second time this year Manager Joe Girardi had to call upon a position player to pitch. If the situation comes up again, Ichiro Suzuki may be the man. A former high school pitcher who has thrown in an All-Star Game, the 40-year-old Suzuki has ambitions to get back on the mound at least one more time before he retires.

“I would be happy to help if they need me,” he said, his eyes brightening at the prospect of it.

Suzuki pitched to one batter in the 1996 Japan All-Star Game, and with his free-and-easy delivery, he induced a ground ball for an out from a pitcher.

Suzuki has two strong pitches.

“Fastball and slider,” he said with pride. “But like all Japanese pitchers, the splitter is my bread and butter.”

Girardi, who has seen video of Suzuki’s appearance, said he would consider using him in an emergency.

“I’ll definitely ask him if he can do it,” Girardi said. “It looks like he has pretty good stuff.”

Suzuki does shoulder exercises and plays long toss to keep his arm strong all year long, he said, and could probably throw 40 to 50 pitches with no problem.

“If they need 100 pitches, I would have to get stretched out,” he said through his interpreter, Alan Turner.


 

 

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