By Shannon Drayer
We could see something tonight that we haven’t seen before in baseball. If pitching coach Carl Willis heads out to the mound to talk with Hisashi Iwakuma, he might not go out there alone.
One of the rule changes in Major League Baseball this year allows the pitching coach or manager to take an interpreter with him to the mound. Willis told me that he most likely will take advantage of the new rule.
“I think there are going to be times in critical situations where it is going to make a lot of sense to make sure that Kuma does understand,” he said. “I think last year there were times I would get the terminology from the dugout, go out and say it but if he had a question, then we were stuck. So I think there are going to be situations you are going to see that happen and it is going to be very helpful.”
Iwakuma has been working on his English and Willis and the catchers have worked to pick up words and phrases that could be of help. Willis pointed out that baseballspeak is for the most part is pretty international but he welcomes the extra help, so interpreter Antony Suzuki should get ready for some in game camera time.