Ichiro Suzuki will act as bench coach in two games for the first time since taking an advisory position to the Seattle Mariners, manager Scott Servais said Thursday.
Suzuki will be on the bench as Servais will miss Friday and Saturday's games against the Detroit Tigers at Comerica Park in order to attend his daughters' graduation. Bench coach Manny Acta will take over as manager during the two games.
The 44-year-old Japanese had been training on the field in uniform prior to games after taking up the role of special assistant to the team's chairman on May 3. Because Major League Baseball places limits on team staff that can be on the bench during games, Suzuki had not been on the bench in his new role.
Instead, Suzuki, who intends to resume his playing career next season, watches games on TV from a room behind the dugout and hits off a tee to stay sharp. He said he is not aware of his duties as coach, but appeared excited.
"I was only able to watch (the games) on TV. The view is different from the dugout," he said. "I have no idea (what I'll be doing). I might make out the lineup card, but other than that, I don't know."
The Mariners announced last week that Suzuki, who was the second-oldest active player behind Texas Rangers pitcher Bartolo Colon, will not play again in the 2018 season.