There have been a lot of pitchers go down to injury early in the season. Luckily, some are rehabbing and getting ready to return soon. One starting pitcher ready to return this week and help out fantasy owners is Seattle Mariners starting pitcher Hisashi Iwakuma.
Iwakuma has missed the first month of the 2014 season with a strained tendon in his middle finger. After weeks of rehab and simulated games, Iwakuma made what looks like to be his final rehab start on Sunday. He pitched just four innings and threw 76 pitches, allowing two earned runs and six hits.
He is expected to join his Seattle teammates this weekend and will make his first start of the season this Saturday. The Mariners have an easy matchup against the Houston Astros. The Astros are one of the worst offenses in all of baseball. They are 29th in RBI (80), 30th in batting average (.210) and 29th in on-base percentage (.281). If there was ever a time to start a pitcher returning from injury, this would be it.
Before even making a major-league start, Iwakuma is already ranked in the top 40. After this start, and possibly one more, Iwakuma will be a consistent top-20 starting pitcher for the rest of the season. Iwakuma is currently owned in just under 98 percent of ESPN.com leagues. If you are in one of the few leagues that has Iwakuma on the waiver wire, pick him up right away. On the other side, if you own Iwakuma, make room and start him immediately. He will be dominant in his first start back.