The fourth place Mariners will be getting back a needed friend this weekend. Seattle Mariners pitcher Hisashi Iwakuma will make his regular-season debut on Saturday against the Houston Astros during Seattle’s three-game set at Minute Maid Park, according to Greg Johns of MLB.com. He has been on the disabled list all season because he strained a tendon in the middle finger of his throwing hand working out in the offseason. This injury did not require surgery, but he was forced to wear a splint on his right hand and was not allowed to begin throwing until late March.
Seattle wanted Hisashi Iwakuma to start the series opener on Friday to keep him on regular rest, but he had to adjust due to Wednesday’s rainout in New York. Iwakuma will be slotted in behind the team’s ace, Felix Hernandez, who will pitch the opening game of the series with Houston after having his start on Thursday against the Yankees pushed back by a Wednesday rainout in the Bronx.
Iwakuma threw four innings in a Minor League rehab start last Sunday for Triple-A Tacoma; he allowed three runs, but only two were earned. Now, he will rejoin the Mariners rotation a month into the season. Iwakuma’s activation off the disabled list will be a big boost for a Seattle rotation that also has Blake Beavan, Taijuan Walker and James Paxton on the disabled list.
Hisashi Iwakuma is coming off of a excellent 2013 campaign. Last season, he boasted a 14-6 record with a 2.66 ERA in over 219 innings of work, while posting a .220 batting average against. Going into his third season, he has a career 23-11 record and a stellar 2.84 ERA, as well as two saves.