Mariners’ Hisashi Iwakuma throws one splitter, tries out a new pitch in final spring tuneup

Mar 31, 2016, 5:33 PM | Updated: 5:36 pm
Hisashi Iwakuma, who has been dealing with a blister, threw just one splitter on Thursday. (AP)...
Hisashi Iwakuma, who has been dealing with a blister, threw just one splitter on Thursday. (AP)
(AP)

Hisashi Iwakuma threw his final tuneup Thursday, a two-inning outing against Padres minor leaguers, and declared himself ready to go for the season.

“I am very happy with where I am at,” he said after giving up a run on two hits and one walk while striking out two.

Related: Servais encouraged by spring performances of Cano, Marte

Iwakuma, who suffered a blister of sorts earlier in camp, added that his finger was fine. The finger kept him from throwing his splitter in his last minor league start, and he threw exactly one on Thursday. Despite the fact that he has thrown the pitch in a game just once in the last 10 days, Iwakuma has confidence in the pitch.

“To be honest with you, I wanted to see where my split was at today so I did use one pitch and I struck the guy out so I am very satisfied with it,” he said with a smile.

To compensate for not having the splitter, Iwakuma has been experimenting with a changeup. He threw a handful of changeups Thursday and is seeing progress with the pitch.

“I think it is a useful pitch. It is an efficient pitch as well as long as I don’t throw it to the fat part of the plate,” he said. “It’s just to kind of prevent my finger. Just to kind of play around with it as this is not official so I have been working on that as well, just in case.”

It doesn’t sound like he will need to use it. The finger issue is considered to be mild.

“No matter how bad the finger is he will throw the split on Tuesday,” said interpreter Antony Suzuki.

The newest Mariner, Nick Vincent, also threw an inning in the minor league game. This was a somewhat strange experience for Vincent as he was throwing to hitters who were his teammates less than 48 hours ago.

“I got to face (John) Shields, that was cool,” he said “But there were definitely nerves out there for the first time in a while. I haven’t had that in spring training in a while. That was fun.”

Vincent gave up no hits, no runs and struck out Shields in his inning of work. He will throw another inning Saturday in the Mariners’ final game of spring training.

Shannon Drayer

Mariners Cal Raleigh George Kirby...
Shannon Drayer

Talking Mariners Podcast: Breaking down Dipoto’s comments on payroll

M's pregame/postgame hosts Shannon Drayer and Curtis Rogers are back for a new Talking Mariners, with the latest Jerry Dipoto Show taking focus.
1 day ago
Mariners general hat glove...
Shannon Drayer

Mariners Notebook: Andy McKay named assistant GM; dates to watch

Mariners insider Shannon Drayer goes through what Andy McKay's promotion to assistant GM means and sets the stage for next week's winter meetings.
2 days ago
Mariners Julio Rodríguez...
Brent Stecker

Big question Mariners have to answer: Where does Julio Rodríguez hit?

Julio Rodríguez eventually settled in as leadoff hitter for the Mariners in 2022, but will that change in 2023 -- and should it? Shannon Drayer and Ryan Rowland-Smith discuss.
12 days ago
Mariners Teoscar Hernandez...
Shannon Drayer

Drayer: Mariners check important box with ‘relatively pain-free’ Hernández trade

The Mariners acquired a needed slugging OF in Teoscar Hernández and did so without sacrificing too much, Shannon Drayer says.
16 days ago
Mariners Cade Marlowe...
Shannon Drayer

Mariners Notebook: Seattle adds 4 prospects to 40-man roster

Tthe Mariners added four prospects to the 40-man roster ahead of the Rule 5 Draft. Shannon Drayer has the details on those players and more.
17 days ago
Mariners Carlos Correa Adam Frazier...
Brent Stecker

Talking Mariners: Selling shortstops on 2B move could be easier now

A rule change will impact how the Mariners and other teams handle second base in 2023, which may help to get a shortstop to agree to a position change.
17 days ago
Mariners’ Hisashi Iwakuma throws one splitter, tries out a new pitch in final spring tuneup