Dipoto: Mariners’ Felix Hernandez should, Hisashi Iwakuma could return in September
The Seattle Mariners’ starting rotation isn’t in great shape, especially since James Paxton left his start Thursday night with a left pectoral strain. They should get some help for the stretch run, though.
Mariners general manager Jerry Dipoto told “Danny, Dave and Moore” that the team’s two most veteran pitchers, Hisashi Iwakuma and Felix Hernandez, may return from the disabled list next month.
“There is a chance for Kuma. There is more than a chance, a great likelihood that we’ll see Felix right about the start of the month or when we get to Sept. 1,” Dipoto said.
It’s been a tough season for Iwakuma, who has been out of action with a shoulder injury since May 3 and suffered multiple setbacks. He’s resumed his throwing program, however, and has an extended bullpen set for Friday and a simulated game to follow next week if all goes well.
Hernandez, meanwhile, landed back on the DL last weekend, marking the second time this season he’s been sidelined with shoulder bursitis. The team announced Tuesday that he is expected to miss three to four weeks.
Dipoto added that the Mariners should get help from a few other arms fairly soon, mainly in the bullpen.
“Shae Simmons is making progress and we feel like we may be within a week of being able to add him if needed, and slowly but surely we’re getting more depth, including some of the guys we picked up in trades this past weekend, guys like Ryan Garton coming on board,” he said.
Simmons, a hard-throwing righty reliever acquired last offseason from Atlanta, has appeared in just six games this season due to a forearm injury, all coming in the minors on a rehab assignment. He has a pair of scoreless innings under his belt since joining Triple-A Tacoma last week.
Garton was picked up last weekend in a trade from Tampa Bay and could be a September addition to the bullpen when rosters expand along with Dan Altavilla, Sam Gaviglio and Christian Bergman.
“These guys are all going to be in play for us, and we’re gonna need all of them,” Dipoto said.