When Seattle Mariners manager Eric Wedge moved Ichiro Suzuki from the No. 3 spot in the batting order to the leadoff spot, the idea was that it would increase Ichiro's productivity.
He was only batting .271 as the No. 3 hitter with one homer, and for a career .323 hitter, returning to his comfort zone should get him hitting.
It has not worked out that way.
The right fielder, hitting just .206 since becoming a leadoff hitter, got the night off Monday in Phoenix when Arizona second baseman Aaron Hill hit for the cycle in the Diamondbacks' 7-1 win over the Mariners.
Ichiro, hitting .255 with a .286 on-base percentage for the season, will be back atop of the lineup again Tuesday.
"It's a good time to do it (give him a day off), with the left-hander going against us today," Wedge said. "There was a travel day (Sunday from Seattle), and this is the first day of the road trip. And we are losing the DH (in Phoenix, a National League city).
"I think it does help him to have a day off. He's been playing a long time. He keeps in good shape, and he plays hard. A day off serves him well."
The Mariners were looking for Ichiro's numbers to go up, and while that hasn't happened, Wedge isn't about to abandon the experiment.
"We started him out in the three hole, and we left him there for a couple of months," Wedge said. "Now we've moved him back to leadoff where he's more comfortable. We're trying to get him going there.
"It's been hit or miss. He's showed some (good) signs, but there hasn't been the consistency like we're looking for."