Suárez showcases fancy soccer footwork at plate

Mariners third baseman continues to marry 'Beautiful Game' to national pastime

May 13th, 2023

DETROIT -- It’s hard to tell what was more interesting: 's footwork-juggling act on Saturday against the Tigers, or the fact that it wasn’t the first time he’s done it.

Facing a 1-1 count in the top of the second, Tigers’ starter Alex Faedo bounced a slider off the outside corner. As catcher Eric Haase tried to snatch it on the backhand, it caromed off Haase’s glove towards Suárez and hit him just above the left arm.

Suárez, unwilling to simply let the ball hit the dirt, gave a subtle flex of his arm, redirecting the ball ever so slightly toward his back foot. Then, he kicked the ball back up to himself and -- for good measure -- he did it again, before snatching the ball with an emphatic swipe and tossing it out of play.

Is this kind of Hacky Sack-style maneuver becoming Suárez’s signature move? He’s done it before, almost exactly a year ago against Toronto. That time was more complex; the sequence included four consecutive kicks, utilizing both feet. There’s no word yet on why Suárez decided to cut the move short against Detroit. Perhaps he’s just focused on simplifying his footwork at the plate.