You can make the argument that Hisashi Iwakuma has been the Seattle Mariners‘ best starting pitcher over the past two years. Yes, that includes Felix Hernandez. Of course, Hernandez and Iwakuma are hardly competitors as they both look to give the Mariners an edge here in 2014. However, Iwakuma’s offseason has hardly been one of good fortune as the right-handed pitcher has been battling a middle finger injury since the beginning of February.
Thankfully, the most recent news surrounding the 32-year-old Iwakauma is positive to say the least. Mariners general manager Jack Zduriencik spoke with caution on Sunday, but he did acknowledge the fact that Iwakuma’s finger could be something minor that won’t even play a role in the Japan native’s 2014 campaign:
“This one might not be as serious as we originally thought, which is a positive but we really won’t know that until he starts throwing a baseball.”
After the most expensive offseason in Mariners history; Seattle can ill afford to get off to a sour note this year. Therefore, an injury to Iwakuma is exactly what Mariners’ fans don’t want to hear. With that being said, Iwakuma is no stranger to pitching with pain as the 32-year-old has made 64 starts over the last two years, which is actually two more than New York Yankees‘ ace and noted workhorse C.C. Sabathia.
At the end of the day: The Mariners appear to have dodged a bullet in terms of their number-two starter’s overall health heading into such an important year for Seattle.