Greg Johns of MLB.com has reported that Mariners’ starter Hisashi Iwakuma will miss three weeks due to an injured finger. According to Johns, Iwakuma reported to spring training with a strained tendon in his middle finger on his throwing hand.
Hand specialist Dr. Donald Sheridan has evaluated Iwakuma and has recommended that the right-handed starter keeps his finger in a splint for several more weeks. Sheridan shared that Iwakuma has been doing everything he can do to stay in baseball shape short of throwing a baseball:
“We’ve simulated a lot of throwing activities. In Japan, they do a lot of towel drill exercises. He’s thrown 40-pitch bullpens using a towel, working on his mechanics and balance and follow through. He’s even concentrated on the inner and outer half of the plate.
“He’s done real well with that. He’s been doing all his conditioning, his leg and core work, a lot of shoulder exercises. He’s very bored and wants to play baseball.”
Iwakuma had a fantastic year in 2013 where he finished with a 14-6 record with a 2.66 ERA and finished third in the Cy Young Award voting. This will be his third year in the league and along with Felix Hernandez, they make a top-tier 1-2 punch in the starting rotation.