The 2013 fantasy baseball season was a magical one for Seattle Mariners SP Hisashi Iwakuma. The veteran finished with an outstanding 14-6 record and ironically ended up becoming a strong number two option behind fellow starter, Felix Hernandez.
Iwakuma also finished with a sizzling a 2.66 ERA (third-best in AL) and a similarly impressive 1.01 WHIP (second-best in AL). He threw a career-high 219.2 innings and ended up striking out a staggering 185 batters. He proved to be one of the best value picks of the entire 2013 fantasy season.
Unfortunately, Iwakuma has struggled with a finger injury all 0ff-season. The All-Star pitcher has been forced to sit on the sideline for five weeks due to a strained tendon in the middle finger on his throwing hand. Iwakuma recently had the splint removed from his finger and he has finally been cleared to start throwing, but he has a long way to go until he is ready to take the mound.
The concern regarding the injury, though, has caused his fantasy value to plummet this spring. He has dropped right out of the top-25 pitchers and has ironically become a decent sleeper pick in the middle of the draft this year.
Iwakuma will be safe to grab anywhere after the seventh round this spring. He will be a decent third fantasy starter and will quickly make fantasy fans forget about his minor injury setback in spring training.