Ichiro Suzuki led off for the first time this spring Wednesday and started in left for the second time — both against Detroit — and, lo and behold, the Tigers need a lefty-swinging left fielder after losing Andy Dirks for half a season following back surgery.

However, before assuming two plus two equals showcase, Tigers GM Dave Dombrowski told me he has yet to figure out if they will go internal or external for a platoon partner for Rajai Davis, but he did say “we are not actively seeking a big move,” and Yankees officials concurred Detroit has not inquired about Ichiro.

Nevertheless, that this is one of the puzzles of spring — where might Ichiro land? — defines his status in the Yankee galaxy: A star on the outside looking in. They have a four-man outfield/DH rotation with Carlos Beltran, Jacoby Ellsbury, Brett Gardner and Alfonso Soriano. That makes Ichiro the majors’ most-famous fifth outfielder.

Without injuries to others, he will get opportunities by playing defense late in right field for Beltran or Soriano when the Yankees lead. He will pinch run, perhaps pinch hit, maybe start once a week or every 10 days. What does that add up to for a season — 150-200 plate appearances?

“This would be something new for me,” Ichiro said through a translator. “I can’t say I’ve done this in the past. It is something I have not experienced. But in 2012 when I was traded here, it was a different experience because I had to look every day at the lineup to see if I was playing and where [in the order and at what position].”

This is one of the dreads for any organization — having to transition a great player to the bench … often before that great player believes his baseball biological clock has expired. Ichiro has been a regular since he was a 20-year-old with the Orix Blue Wave. He has spent most of his time in America as one of the most recognizable players in the game — a star and a starter, no doubt.