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04/07/08 3:14 PM ET

Mailbag: Will Ichiro get 3,000 hits?

Beat reporter Jim Street answers Mariners fans' questions

The regular season is under way and the Mariners are hoping to use a strong April to set the tone for the season. In the meantime, we are here to answer as many questions as we can from Mariners fans around the world. So send 'em in.

Somebody recently asked about Carlos Triunfel, one of the Mariners' top prospects, and you mentioned he recently turned 18. How many players have made their Major League debut for the Mariners before their 20th birthday?
-- Derek G., Riverside, Calif.

The youngest Mariner of all-time is relief pitcher Edwin Nunez, who was 18 years old when he made his Mariners debut on April 7, 1982. The right-hander was born on May 27, 1963 in Humacao, Puerto Rico, and compiled a 28-36 record during a 13-year Major League career, including a 14-21 record in five-plus seasons with Seattle.

On July 8, 1994, 18-year-old Alex Rodriguez was 19 days from his 19th birthday when he made his MLB debut at Fenway Park. Ken Griffey Jr. and Felix Hernandez are other teenage Mariners. Both were 19 years old when they made their MLB debuts, Junior on April 3, 1989, and Felix on Aug. 4, 2005.

The late Joe Nuxhall is the youngest post-1900 player in MLB history. The left-handed pitcher was 15 years and 10 months old when he threw his first big league pitch for the Reds on June 10, 1944.

If the bases are loaded and a player hits an inside-the-park home run, scoring all the runners, including himself, would it still be classified as a grand slam?
-- Chandler G., Kirkland, Wash.

That would be a grand slam. There have been 40 inside-the-park grand slams since 1950, but only eight since 1990. Honus Wagner had an MLB-record five inside-the-park grand slams during his Hall of Fame career with the Pirates.

Where can I buy one of the teal hats the Mariners wore on St. Patrick's Day, as I saw Cha Seung Baek wearing on the homepage?
-- Blaine U., Tacoma, Wash.

Unfortunately, those one-of-a-kind hats are not for sale. The Mariners ordered 144 of the green caps for the St. Patrick's Day Cactus League game and the players/coaches either kept them or gave them away.

A friend of mine is in the Mariners organization and I would like to follow his progress. Being from Texas, I am a Rangers fan, and they have a partner Web site -- the Newberg Report -- that updates everyone on all the Rangers Minor League affiliates. Do the Mariners have such a Web site?
-- Ben J., Tyler, Texas

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The best way to follow every Minor League player is through MiLB.com, which offers the most comprehensive Minor League coverage in the business.

I noticed that the Mariners changed a couple of their Minor League teams. When this happens, do the players on the old Minor League affiliate move to the new affiliate teams?
-- Mark A., Spanaway, Wash.

I'm not sure where you saw that the Mariners changed any of their Minor League teams, because they retained working agreements with all of their farm teams and even added one -- the Pulaski Mariners of the Appalachian League. Players are assigned to a specific team, wherever that team is located.

In the pitcher stats of the box scores, some of the pitchers have some info in parentheses. What do they mean? The "W" and "L" are obvious, but the "H," "S," and "BS" are not so obvious.
-- Charles D., Federal Way, Wash.

The "H" stands for "hold." When a reliever comes into a game with his team leading and departs with his team leading, he gets an "H" behind his name in the box score. The "hold" is not an official statistic, however. "S" stands for a "save" and the "BS" is for "blown save."

Will Ichiro Suzuki ever get to 3,000 hits? And if he does, how many more seasons will it take him? Will 3,000 hits get him into the Hall of Fame?
-- Cort C., Tacoma, Wash.

If you count the 1,278 hits Ichiro had for the Orix Blue Wave in Japan and the 1,592 hits he has with the Mariners, he will reach the 3,000-hit plateau with his 130th hit this season. But Hall of Fame voters probably would not consider that to be a "true" 3,000-hit career. Therefore, it probably would take at least seven or eight seasons for Ichiro to reach 3,000 hits in his MLB career.

Do you think Erik Bedard will open up a little more as the season progresses? It seems to me that he isn't much for talking with the media, and I don't think that will cut it with the die-hard Mariners fans.
-- Jeff P., Yokosuka, Japan

That is a question many in the media are asking. He makes himself available to the media after games he pitches, which is a good thing, but the brief answers he gives are frustrating as heck. As much as the media would like for the left-handed ace to "open up" more, there is no indication that it's going to happen anytime soon.

What exactly is a "B" game during Spring Training? It implies that maybe younger players, or players not expected to make the team, play in this game. Is this the case?
-- Bill C., Forks, Wash.

With so many players in camp, MLB teams like to play a few "B" games just to give some of the younger players -- especially pitchers -- work that they need. The rules used in "B" games are more liberal than regular Cactus or Grapefruit League games, and the stats are not included in the "official" Spring Training stats.

What happened to Mike Goff?
-- Chuck A., Bellingham, Wash.

Goff, who was in the Mariners organization from 1992 through last season, currently is managing the Chattanooga Lookouts of the Double-A Southern League. Former Mariners pitcher Chris Bosio is Goff's pitching coach.

Jim Street is a reporter for MLB.com. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.