Mariners notebook: Hisashi Iwakuma shut down due to more discomfort
Hisashi Iwakuma’s recovery from shoulder inflammation has hit another snag.
The 36-year-old right-hander experienced discomfort after throwing a bullpen session during the Mariners’ weekend series in Anaheim, and as a result he won’t be throwing for at least a week.
“I think he’s gotten a cortisone shot to try to calm it down a little bit and get it back to the point where, let it settle seven to 10 days and then try to ramp it up again,” Mariners manager Scott Servais said. “I know he’s disappointed it didn’t feel better last time out, but it is what it is. You gotta listen to your body and (he) didn’t feel great so that’s where he’s at right now.”
It’s been a rough go for Iwakuma since he hit the disabled list following a May 3 start. His recovery progressed far enough for him to go out on a rehab assignment last month, but his arm didn’t bounce back after a June 19 appearance with Triple-A Tacoma like he and the team had hoped. Now it appears he is as far from returning as he was when he first came down with his shoulder ailment.
Iwakuma is 0-2 with a 4.35 ERA, 1.26 WHIP, 16 strikeouts and 12 walks in six starts (31 innings) this season. He is in the second year of a three-year deal with Seattle that he signed before the 2016 season after an agreed-upon deal with the Los Angeles Dodgers fell through following a physical. The Mariners had a built-in protection against the health concerns the Dodgers had, as Iwakuma’s deal was originally for just 2016 with vesting options for 2017 and 2018. He met the requirements for his 2017 option by surpassing 162 innings pitched and avoiding injury last season, but he needs to meet a combined 324 innings in 2016 and 2017 for his 2018 option to vest. He is still 94 innings short of meeting that requirement.
• Seattle announced four international signings on Tuesday: From the Dominican Republic, OF Julio Rodriguez and RHP Yeuri Tatiz, and from Venezuela, SS Juan Querecuto and LHP Brayan Perez. All four players are 16 years old. The No. 6 ranked overall prospect for the international signing period by Baseball America, Rodriguez is a “power bat along with a good feel for hitting,” Mariners director of international scouting Tim Kissner said in a press release. Querecuto, Baseball America’s No. 21 prospect, is an “advance-minded shortstop that plays above his years,” Kissner said. On Perez, Kissner said he is “extremely projectable” and has a “clean delivery and loose arm action.” Regarding Tatiz, Kissner called him an “athletic player with a clean arm action and a good feel for his secondary pitches.” Shannon Drayer previously reported on the expected signings of Rodriguez and Querecuto in this post.
• The Mariners made a minor trade Monday, sending Double-A right-hander Tyler Herb to the Giants for cash considerations. A 29th-round pick in 2015, the 25-year-old Herb is 6-4 with a 3.31 ERA in 16 starts this season for Arkansas.
• Nelson Cruz is back in the Mariners lineup after not starting the last two games with a knee injury. You can read more on that here.