Ichiro staying put at No. 3 spot for now

Ichiro staying put at No. 3 spot for now

Ichiro staying put at No. 3 spot for now
BOSTON -- Though manager Eric Wedge has mentioned several times in recent days that Ichiro Suzuki isn't a "prototypical" No. 3 hitter in his lineup, he said Tuesday there is no immediate plan to move the veteran hitter.

Wedge shifted Ichiro from his leadoff spot at the start of the season in part because he wanted to give Chone Figgins a chance to revive his career hitting No. 1. That experiment didn't work, and Figgins is now filling a utility role and rarely playing.

As for whether he'd move Ichiro up or down now, Wedge declined to say.

"I'm not going to have that conversation with you guys before I have a conversation with him," Wedge said. "But right now, my focus is for him to be more productive in the three-hole. He's a smart guy. There's nothing I need to say to him. He has his unique approach to hitting and it has to work.

"But I'd like him to be a little more timely, particularly late in ballgames. He's the one veteran guy we have in the lineup and we need him to help pick up these young kids."

Ichiro is hitting .291 with 13 RBIs, but just .206 in 34 at-bats with runners in scoring position.

Wedge said he likes Dustin Ackley in the leadoff role right now, which seems to indicate that returning Ichiro to that role is not in his current thinking.