Mariners Insider podcast: Iwakuma’s situation, key role of trainer

Dec 17, 2015, 2:29 PM | Updated: Jan 15, 2016, 10:14 am
Hisashi Iwakuma’s three-year deal with the Dodgers was reportedly nixed after a failed physic...
Hisashi Iwakuma's three-year deal with the Dodgers was reportedly nixed after a failed physical. (AP)

No technical difficulties this week as James Osborn joined me for an hour of baseball talk in the 710 ESPN Seattle studio.

We go in depth into Thursday’s news that the Dodgers’ deal with Hisashi Iwakuma had not completed due to a reported failed physical. It turned out to work in the Mariners’ favor, as later in the day he signed a contract to return to Seattle.

Related: Mariners re-sign Hisashi Iwakuma after Dodgers deal falls through

James and I also take a look at where the Mariners stand with payroll, what the rotation depth is at this date, and just how much better their bullpen looks after the signing of closer Steve Cishek.

My guest this week is longtime Mariners head athletic trainer Rick Griffin. I conducted the interview on Wednesday, and interestingly enough my first question to him was about the physicals players take before deals are completed. While the discussion was not Iwakuma specific, Griffin gives good insight into both medical reviews and the physical process for players about to join the Mariners.

He also talks about how current players are monitored while away, the plan for Felix Hernandez in 2016, what the Mariners do with their pitchers that is different from most clubs and what Franklin Gutierrez goes through to get on the field. Griffin also looks back at the trip to Ground Zero that the team took in 2001.

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Mariners Insider podcast: Iwakuma’s situation, key role of trainer