After 11 seasons as one of the premier leadoff hitters in the game, Ichiro Suzuki will be moved to the third spot in the Mariners' lineup this season, manager Eric Wedge said on Tuesday.
"He's as smart a baseball player as we have in there, and he understands the game very well," Wedge said. "He understands what the responsibility and priorities are with somebody hitting third, and I'm trusting in that.
"I had a good talk with him yesterday. It wasn't out of left field, because we've had discussions [previously]. He's on board. He's ready to go."
As to the risk in signing Saito to a one-year $1.75 million free agent contract this winter, Towers said that he's heard for four or five years that, with one pitch, Saito's "arm could go."
"I will say we didn't do a physical," Towers said. "We knew he probably would have failed his physical based on everything that we've heard over the last four or five years. You just have to watch how you use him and utilize him in games. But he's in great shape, and he's been about as consistent a reliever in the game over the last five years pitching in high pressure situations. ... We thought his skill set and what he could bring to the club far outweighed the risk."
Saito also tossed thirty pitches, including a new kind of change-up he is working on, during his first bullpen session during camp on Tuesday.
Daisuke Matsuzaka workouts at Fort Myers, FL began at around 9:30am on Tuesday. He also played some catch with Bobby Valentine.
Junichi Tazawa threw about fifty pitches, including off-speed pitches, in the bullpen on Tuesday.
Valentine also spoke to each player individually -- Tazawa for about five minutes and Matsuzaka for about thirty minutes.
Ryota Igarashi threw thirty pitches in the bullpen on Tuesday. It was his second bullpen since the start of camp.
Hisanori Takahashi threw forty-two pitches during an eight-minute bullpen session on Tuesday. Takahashi told reporters that he was at about 70-80%.
Tsuyoshi Wada threw forty-two pitches in the bullpen on Tuesday. Wada also turned 31 on Tuesday.
Yu Darvish threw thirty pitches in the bullpen on Tuesday. He also tweeted that he pitched in and out of the stretch and threw his fastball, two-seamer, cutter, loose curve, horizontal slider, change, and splitter.