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18 Hisashi Iwakuma SP
Height/Weight: 6-3/210 | Birthdate: 4/12/1981 | Birthplace: Tokyo, Japan | Bats/Throws: R/R | Team: Seattle | College: None | MLB Experience: 4 | Owned/Started%: 86/4 | Average Draft Position: 74.11
SEA

Latest Updates

 

McClendon: Mariners' Iwakuma still 3-4 weeks away from returning


by Michael Hurcomb | CBSSports.com
(5/1/2015) Mariners starting pitcher Hisashi Iwakuma (strained lat) has progressed to long toss in his throwing program, per MyNorthwest.com. However, manager Lloyd McClendon said Friday the right-hander is still 3-4 weeks away from returning.

Mariners' Hisashi Iwakuma (lat strain) does light throwing


by Jason Butt | CBSSports.com
(4/27/2015) Mariners pitcher Hisashi Iwakuma was able to do some light throwing and strength exercises on Monday, according to the Seattle Times

Iwakuma has a Grade 1 lat strain that he's recovering from. It is a positive sign that Iwakuma is able to throw this early into his recovery. 


MRI on Mariners P Hisashi Iwakuma (lat) reveals strain, out 2-4 weeks


by Ted Leshinski | Staff Writer
(4/25/2015) A second MRI on Mariners pitcher Hisashi Iwakuma's right lat muscle revealed a Grade 1 strain, indicating the right hander will miss two to four weeks, per MLB.com. 

The status of Iwakuma's injury had been on hold until a second MRI could be performed. 

Iwakuma (0-1, 6.61 ERA) was placed on the 15-day disabled list Friday due to a right lat strain.


M's Hisashi Iwakuma (lat) to have second MRI, update on hold


by Ted Leshinski | Staff Writer
(4/25/2015) Mariners manager Lloyd McClendon said that starting pitcher Hisashi Iwakuma (lat) required another MRI and an update on his status is on hold, reports the Tacoma News Tribune.

Iwakuma was placed on the 15-day disabled list Friday due to a right lat strain.

In three starts this season, Iwakuma is 0-1 with a 6.61 ERA.

Mariners place Hisashi Iwakuma on 15-day DL due to lat strain


by Michael Hurcomb | CBSSports.com
(4/24/2015) Mariners starting pitcher Hisashi Iwakuma was placed on the 15-day disabled list Friday due to a right lat strain. General manager Jack Zduriencik said he hopes Iwakuma's injury is just shoulder fatigue, but the team will know more after an MRI on Friday.

Iwakuma said after Friday's game he won't know the results of the MRI until Saturday, per The News Tribune.

Iwakuma was scheduled to pitch Sunday against the Twins, but the team has yet to name a replacement. Although, Zduriencik indicated Friday it would likely be Roenis Elias.

The veteran right-hander has struggled through his first three starts, going 0-1 with a 6.61 ERA and 1.41 WHIP. He has allowed five home runs and three walks, while recording 11 strikeouts in 16 1/3 innings.


McClendon criticizes command of Mariners RHP Iwakuma


by Marty Gitlin | CBSSports.com
(4/21/2015) Mariners starting pitcher Hisashi Iwakuma continues to limit his walks this season, just as he has done since arriving in Seattle. He has just three in 16 innings pitched.

But his command in the strike zone has been a problem and has translated into three poor starts and 6.61 ERA. He walked none Monday night against Houston, but still allowed four runs in 5 1/3 innings, prompting criticism from Lloyd McClendon.

"I didn't like what I saw; it has to get better than that," McClendon told MLB Network Radio about the command of his right-hander.

Two of the five hits Iwakuma allowed to Houston left the yard. He has yielded five homers in 16 1/3 innings on the year.


Mariners SP Hisashi Iwakuma gives up four runs Monday


by Sean d'Oliveira | CBSSports.com
(4/21/2015) Mariners pitcher Hisashi Iwakuma failed to get past the fifth inning of Monday's loss to the Astros and received a no-decision as a result.

Iwakuma surrendered four runs on five hits over 5 1/2 innings. He struck out three and walked three on 71 pitches. He has given up four runs in each of his three starts this season.

"He has not been sharp," manager Lloyd McClendon said after the game, per MLB.com. "The ball was up again tonight. We've got to figure out a way to get him down in the zone. His fastball command has just not been good as of late."

Iwakuma's troubles began in the first inning when he gave up a solo home run to Luis Valbuena. He also surrendered a solo shot to Colby Rasmus in the fifth inning and his ERA is now 6.61. Felix Hernandez remains the only Mariners starter with a win this season.

"I actually feel pretty good on the mound," Iwakuma said through translator Antony Suzuki. "Even today, I felt like my stuff was working. Just some of the pitches that were up in the zone, they didn't miss, and that kind of hurt."

Iwakuma's next expected start will be Sunday against the Twins.


Can Mariners' Iwakuma reverse course against Astros in 2015?


by Michael Hurcomb | CBSSports.com
(4/20/2015) Mariners starting pitcher Hisashi Iwakuma is set to face the Astros for the first time this season Monday. However, he didn't fare very well against the AL West foe in 2014.

The right-hander went 2-3 with a 5.40 ERA and 1.41 WHIP in five starts against Houston last season. He allowed four runs in four of the five starts.

It was a stark contrast from 2013, when Iwakuma went 2-1 with a 1.38 ERA in four starts against Houston and didn't allow more than two earned runs in any of those outings.

The Astros enter play Monday with 34 runs, which is the third-lowest total in the majors.


M's Hisashi Iwakuma allows four runs in five innings for no decision


by Ted Leshinski | Staff Writer
(4/15/2015) Mariners starter Hisashi Iwakuma (0-1) went five innings where he allowed four runs on six hits including two home runs Tuesday, taking a no decision vs. the Dodgers.

Alex Guerrero connected for a two-run homer and Andre Ethier added a solo shot for the Dodgers.

Iwakuma's next start is set for Monday against the Astros.

Pitch location, not blister, plagues Mariners' Iwakuma in loss to Angels


by Michael Hurcomb | CBSSports.com
(4/9/2015) Mariners starting pitcher Hisashi Iwakuma was able to rally from a rough start Wednesday against the Angels. After giving up five runs (four earned) in the first two innings, he finished his outing with four scoreless frames.

Still, it wasn't enough for Seattle to make a comeback, as the Mariners lost 5-3.

"I tried to be too perfect at times and I couldn't get those strikes when I wanted," Iwakuma said through translator Antony Suzuki, per MLB.com. "I fell behind and that cost me."

Manager Lloyd McClendon agreed with Iwakuma's assessment of his performance.

"He was up in the zone a lot the first couple innings," McClendon said. "He just couldn't quite seem to get it down and they took advantage of it. And we didn't help him on a couple plays we probably should have made."

Iwakuma was unable to throw his splitter in his last spring outing due to a blister on his right index finger, but he insisted the blister wasn't an issue Wednesday.

"The finger wasn't bothering me at all," he said. "I just didn't have a good feel, a good grip of the split and they were taking good pitches. You just have to tip your cap to their hitters."


Mariners' Hisashi Iwakuma struggles in season debut vs. Angels


by R.J. White | CBSSports.com
(4/9/2015) Mariners pitcher Hisashi Iwakuma allowed five runs (four earned) on nine hits in six innings while striking out three and walking none while taking the loss in his team's 5-3 defeat against the Angels.

The Angels were able to get to Iwakuma early, racking up four runs in the first inning, including two on a home run, and another run in the second. He surrendered 20 home runs in 28 starts last season while posting a 3.52 ERA in 179 innings. He's scheduled to face the Dodgers in Los Angeles Tuesday.


Mariners announce starting rotation for Opening Day


by Brandon Wise | CBSSports.com
(4/4/2015) Mariners manager Lloyd McClendon has decided on his starting rotation to begin the season, reports the Tacoma News Tribune.

The rotation will go as follows: Felix Hernandez, James Paxton, Hisashi Iwakuma, Taijuan Walker and J.A. Happ.

Happ was expected to be either the fourth or fifth starter in the rotation.


Mariners SP Hisashi Iwakuma not worried about blister issue


by Michael Hurcomb | CBSSports.com
(4/3/2015) Mariners starting pitcher Hisashi Iwakuma had little issues during his two-inning, minor-league outing Thursday. Although, he didn't even throw his best pitch -- a split-finger fastball -- due to a blister on his pitching hand, which developed in his last spring start March 28.

But, Iwakuma said the blister issue happens regularly and he doesn't seem to be too concerned.

“It’s a good thing and a bad thing at the same time,” he said, per the Tacoma News Tribune. “When I get that blister, that means my finger had a good grip on the ball. So that’s a good thing.

“But at the same time, you have to prevent it from getting to be a problem. You just have to fight it because it is what it is. My finger should be ready by my next start.”

Iwakuma is on track to start the third game of the season, but he could be moved up to the second game since James Paxton has struggled this spring.


Mariners' Hisashi Iwakuma tosses two scoreless innings Thursday


by R.J. White | CBSSports.com
(4/3/2015) Mariners pitcher Hisashi Iwakuma tossed two scoreless innings in his start against the Padres' Triple-A club Thursday in his final tuneup for the regular season, MLB.com reports.

Iwakuma threw 21 of his 32 pitches for strikes in the brief outing. Manager Lloyd McClendon has yet to announce his rotation order, but Iwakuma is on track to pitch the third game of the season on April 8 against the Angels. McClendon could decide to move him up to the second game of the season ahead of James Paxton, who has struggled this spring.


Mariners pitcher Hisashi Iwakuma allows four runs in start


by Brandon Wise | CBSSports.com
(3/28/2015) Mariners pitcher Hisashi Iwakuma gave up four earned runs on five hits in five innings of work Saturday against the Giants. Iwakuma added four strikeouts and two walks on 85 pitches.

"I felt pretty good," Iwakuma said to MLB.com. "I feel like I can enter the season right now physically. From here on, it's all mental. I feel like I have a lot of life on my fastball, and that's a good sign."


Mariners' McClendon impressed by Hisashi Iwakuma's performance


by Igor Mello | CBSSports.com
(3/24/2015) Mariners manager Lloyd McClendon was impressed with the day-after reports on Hisashi Iwakuma, according to the Tacoma News Tribune on Tuesday.

"Outstanding," McClendon said. "He threw the ball extremely well. Great command of the split. The fastball was in and out, up and down. He really commanded the zone very well."

Iwakuma allowed two runs on six hits over five innings of work against minor-league hitters. he struck out eight and walked one. Of his 72 pitches, 44 were called strikes.

"I had a good feel with the split," Iwakuma said. "It is starting to dive a lot. I feel like I could start the season right now physically. It's just all mental from here out."


Mariners' Hisashi Iwakuma tosses four scoreless innings


by R.J. White | CBSSports.com
(3/17/2015) Mariners pitcher Hisashi Iwakuma delivered four scoreless innings in Tuesday's 5-5 tie against the White Sox, allowing five hits and no walks while striking out two.

"I'm not 100 percent there yet, but I feel like I'm close to getting there," Iwakuma said through a translator after the outing, per the Seattle Post-Intelligencer. "I'm in game mode now. It will pick up another notch."

Iwakuma indicated he felt strong at the end of his start, and manager Lloyd McClendon said that his command "got better as the game went along. He threw a lot of very good two-strike strikes. He did a nice job."

Iwakuma has thrown just twice in Cactus League action this spring, as he was tabbed to work in a simulated game during his last turn.


Mariners' Iwakuma throws 60 pitches during simulated game


by Michael Hurcomb | CBSSports.com
(3/13/2015) Mariners starting pitcher Hisashi Iwakuma threw 60 pitches in four innings during a simulated game against minor leaguers Thursday, per The News Tribune

“I felt good overall today,” he said, “and had a better feel of my command, being able to locate where I wanted to. I was able to work from my stretch with runners on and that was good to get that feel back.

“I felt like my arm speed and arm action were better than my first outing, so I am satisfied with where I am at being the second game in camp.”


Mariners' Hisashi Iwakuma to pitch simulated game Thursday


by R.J. White | CBSSports.com
(3/10/2015) Mariners pitcher Hisashi Iwakuma will pitch in a simulated game against minor leaguers Thursday rather than in Cactus League play, MLB.com reports.

Iwakuma would have faced the A's Thursday, but with the team set to travel to Oakland during its first road trip of the season, manager Lloyd McClendon wanted to avoid giving hitters extra work against the pitcher. Felix Hernandez is set to pitch a simulated game for the same reason Sunday.

"I just don’t want them facing teams we’re going to play early," McClendon said. "I don’t like doing that. Any type of edge we can get by not having them face them early is good. They just need to build up [innings]. I don’t think they’re trying to make the club."

Iwakuma tossed two perfect innings in his Cactus League debut Saturday, throwing 16 of his 22 pitches for strikes.


Mariners pitcher Hisashi Iwakuma off to good start in spring training


by Brandon Wise | CBSSports.com
(3/7/2015) Mariners pitcher Hisashi Iwakuma set a strong tone for the remainder of spring training Saturday. He threw two perfect innings against the Diamondbacks and catcher Mike Zunino thought Iwakuma was very sharp in the outing, reports MLB.com.

"He's right on track," Zunino said. "I know there are a couple things he wants to work on. He wants to get his splitter down just a hair, but a lot of that has to do with the dryness here. He doesn't get quite the spin he wants, but he's pretty incredible right now. I know he's enjoying Spring Training since he missed it last year. Just his stuff and the mechanics and way he can [adjust] on one pitch is incredible."

Iwakuma feels good this spring, but didn't want to compare this year to his previous.

"It's hard to compare because you don't know where to put the standards," Iwakuma said through translator Antony Suzuki. "But when you look at my style, throwing strikes with a good groove and getting ahead in counts, I was able to do all of that. So I feel pretty comfortable right now and I'm pretty happy with my first game."


Mariners P Hisashi Iwakuma hits OF Gabriel Guerrero in batting practice


by Jason Butt | CBSSports.com
(3/2/2015) Mariners pitcher Hisashi Iwakuma was forced to throw a modified batting practice since rain canceled a scheduled intrasquad scrimmage. Iwakuma got his work in by throwing to batters that were not allowed to swing since they were in a confined area.

However, Iwakuma didn't live up to his end of the bargain as he accidentally hit outfielder Gabriel Guerrero with a pitch during the session

“It was a split-finger [fastball] that just kind of slipped out of my finger,” Iwakuma said through interpreter Antony Suzuki, via The News Tribune. “I felt kind of bad for [Guerrero].”

Iwakuma's first scheduled start of spring training is slated for this Saturday against the Diamondbacks. 


McClendon: Iwakuma still throwing bullpens, but 'everything is fine'


by Michael Hurcomb | CBSSports.com
(2/27/2015) While most of Seattle's pitchers are tossing live batting practice, Mariners starting pitcher Hisashi Iwakuma threw his third bullpen session of the spring Friday, per MLB.com. However, manager Lloyd McClendon stressed the veteran pitcher is not behind due to injury.

“This is by design,” McClendon said. “We’re just stretching him out a little more. Kuma is A-OK and everything is fine. He has no issues at all. I don’t think he needs the live BPs. The guy is such a technician, he gets more done in a bullpen session than he would in a live BP.”

Iwakuma was 12-6 with a 2.57 ERA in his first 21 starts last season before going 3-3 with a 7.88 ERA in his final seven outings. 

“I kind of ran out of gas there,” he said through translator Antony Suzuki. “It wasn’t like I was very, very tired. I was just fatigued mentally and physically and that’s something I need to work on in spring training.

“I’m very excited (for 2015). It’s a different year compared to where I was last year. I’m very motivated. I look forward to the season and I’m looking forward to a good spring training.”


Mariners' Hisashi Iwakuma planning to remain in the U.S.


by Chris Cwik | CBSSports.com
(2/22/2015) Mariners pitcher Hisashi Iwakuma is planning to remain in the U.S. once his contract is up, according to the Tacoma News Tribune

Iwakuma is set to be a free-agent following the 2015 season, but wants to continue to the pitch in the United States. The 33-year-old could have opted to return to Japan, but has no plans to do so at the moment. 

Iwakuma posted a 3.52 ERA over 179 innings last year. 


Mariners' Zduriencik: 'No truth' to Hisashi Iwakuma trade rumors


by Michael Hurcomb | CBSSports.com
(12/3/2014) While Mariners starting pitcher Hisashi Iwakuma's name has been floated in trade rumors, general manager Jack Zduriencik denies the notion the 33-year-old pitcher is being shopped, according to MLB.com.

"There's no truth to that," Zduriencik said. "I didn't have any substantive dialogue there. With Felix (Hernandez) and Iwakuma at the top and the other young guys we have, that's a formidable rotation."

Iwakuma, who was an All-Star in 2013, won a career-high 15 games in 28 starts in 2014. He is 38-20 with a 3.07 ERA and 1.09 WHIP in 91 outings (77 starts) since joining Seattle in 2012.


Mariners pick up option on Hisashi Iwakuma


by Chris Cwik | CBSSports.com
(10/30/2014) The Mariners have picked up an option on pitcher Hisashi Iwakuma, according to 710 ESPN.

It's actually unclear if the club picked up the option or if Iwakuma reached enough benchmarks during the year for the option to automatically vest. Either way, he'll return to Seattle for $7 million next season. Iwakuma was fantastic in 2014, posting a 3.52 ERA over 179 innings.