Ichiro is throwing gas in Spring Training

Don't call it a comeback

February 19th, 2020

Ichiro may be best known for leading the league in hits seven times and collecting more than 3,000 in his 19-year MLB career, but he never made it easy to forget that he was a player with a very diverse skill set -- whether he was robbing hits in the outfield, hitting dinger after dinger in batting practice or picking up outfield assists.

Even in retirement, Ichiro seems committed to showing off his full array of baseball talents. He's with the Mariners in Spring Training as an instructor and has taken it as the perfect excuse to keep dressing like a baseball player.

While one would assume he's spending most of his time helping hitters and outfielders, Ichiro's showing that there really may have been a neighboring universe where he and Felix Hernandez formed a dominant 1-2 punch at the top of the Mariners rotation.

Franklin Gutierrez had a 12-year MLB career, so he knows a good fastball when he sees it -- the former outfielder stepped into the box against Justin Verlander 40 times.

As impressive as Ichiro's pitching is, we can't say we're surprised he's got solid stuff. Not even a month into his Major League career, he showed all you needed to know about his arm.

He also has MLB experience as a pitcher, tossing an inning against the Phillies in 2015 and showing off some nasty breaking pitches in the process. Even though it's exceedingly unlikely that Ichiro makes a comeback as a pitcher, it's clear he's far too good to be throwing batting practice.