The 2014 baseball season is just a few days old and there are already players suffering from injuries. Seattle Mariners starting pitcher Hisashi Iwakuma will start the season on the disabled list. Iwakuma strained a tendon in the middle finger of his throwing hand while doing baseball drills last month.
The injury is not serious and will not require surgery. However, it will be a bit of a setback for Iwakuma. He will miss most of spring training and part of the first month of the regular season.
Iwakuma was ranked in the top 20 among starting pitchers and a SP2 candidate. The injury shouldn’t scare fantasy owners too much to avoid drafting him altogether. He may fall a couple of rounds, making him a SP3. You weren’t drafting Iwakuma to be your ace anyway, so grabbing one more pitcher before drating Iwakuma only helps your team in the long run.
Iwakuma will not throw a ball for four to six weeks. According to the Seattle Times, he is hoping to at least pick up a baseball in three weeks. “Until then, he will get treatment on the finger, which includes icing and electronic stimulation,” the report said.
Iwakuma is still worth drafting in standard leagues. He isn’t missing multiple months from Tommy John surgery. It’s just strained finger that will prevent him from loosening his arm during the spring. He will be on the DL for a couple of weeks. In the meantime, you fill in his spot with a late-round pitcher like Ivan Nova, Clay Buchholz or Ricky Nolasco.