Mariners move Suzuki out of leadoff spot

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PEORIA, Ariz. (AP) -- Seattle manager Eric Wedge says he will begin the season having Chone Figgins bat leadoff and hit Ichiro Suzuki third in the Mariners batting order.

Wedge made the announcement on Tuesday. It will be the first time in his career that Suzuki will not bat leadoff on a regular basis, having hit somewhere else in the batting order only a few times in his decade-long career with the Mariners.

Suzuki is coming off the worst year of his career in America, hitting .272, the first time he's failed to hit at least .300. Suzuki's 184 hits were also a career low.

Wedge had hinted during the offseason that he might move Suzuki. He's hoping the move will also jumpstart Figgins, who has slumped in two seasons with the Mariners.