Aug 17, 2012; Seattle, WA, USA; MLB: Seattle Mariners pitcher Hisashi Iwakuma (18) delivers to the plate against the Minnesota Twins during the fourth inning at Safeco Field. Mandatory Credit: Joe Nicholson-US PRESSWIRE

Sign Iwakuma Immediately If Not Sooner

Aug 17, 2012; Seattle, WA, USA; MLB: Seattle Mariners pitcher


Hisashi Iwakuma has been sterling since escaping the bullpen prison Wedge sentenced him to at the start of the season.  Since the All-Star break, Iwakuma has allowed 15 earned runs in 54.2 innings pitched for a 2.49 ERA.  Almost all of his   starts have been  described as either a “solid start” or a “dominant performance”.  The highlight was his 13 strikeout performance against Toronto on July 30th as he handcuffed the Blue Jays over eight fantastic innings.  He didn’t have his best stuff tonight against the Twins but still  ended with allowing zero earned runs and only one hit over six innings.

So what does it take for the Mariner organization to offer this man a generous contract extension?  He is in his prime at age 31 and has proven himself with great start after great start.  He deserves a contract and Wedge should have to deliver it to him in a pink kimono along with a deep bow and a sincere apology after burying him on the bench while pitchers with less talent, especially Noesi, were allowed to get torched.  Hisashi was the last player on any team’s opening roster this year to appear in a game.  This had to have been humbling for such a proud, professional who while pitching in Japan in 2008 lead the league in ERA, winning percentage-he was 21-4- and only allowed three homers in 201 and two-thirds innings.  He out-pitched both Daisuke Matsuzaka and  Yu Darvish in the 2009 Baseball Classic, finishing the tournament with a 1.35 ERA.

Supposedly, he was still recovering from an arm injury and that is why he was passed over as a starter and put into long relief to start the season.  That may or may not be accurate and I too was watching as he good turned up a few times in relief but I wonder if his talent was not recognized or his past accomplishments were considered invalid, somehow.  In short, it certainly looks like a mistake now after what he has done since becoming a regular starter.  I wonder where the Mariners would now be if he had been given an opportunity sooner or been a part of the rotation from the start.  Would Seattle be over five hundred?  No doubt in this old mind.  The answer is, “Yes!”

A press conference should be called and the man given an extension.  If he signs elsewhere next year, I promise I will pelt someone of significance with a few of my prized tomatoes at Safeco.


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Tags: Hisashi Iwakuma Seattle Mariners

  • Blackie

    I’m not kidding either. Tomatoes it will be, if he is not signed. I am old enough to plead crazy and get away with it.

  • Coug1990

    John Jaso was in the same boat. If not for the injury to Olivo, Jaso still would be getting the occasional at bat and never playing the field (He is better defensively than Olivo).

    There were many of us clamoring for Wedge to free Iwakuma and Jaso. I am glad he was forced to play them or the Mariners still might be the worst team in the American League.

  • Blackie

    Coug1990–You are so correct. Jaso and his 13 game winners would never have happened plus Kyle Seager might never have gotten a chance which would have been sad.

  • Matthias_Kullowatz

    I was thinking fuchsia for the kimono…minor details. I like that, as a starter, we actually see Iwakuma’s xFIP better than his FIP. Despite a ballpark like SafeCo where FIP and ERA can mask some problems, Iwakuma has shown us that he might be legit!

  • Blackie

    Matthias–What a rookie error on my part–fuchsia is vastly superior to plain old pink-I bow to you…

  • JJ Allen Keller

    I agree 100%. It angered me when he was rotting on the bench at the beginning of the season, especially now that we see what he can do. Id give him 1 year for sure, and maybe even 2 depending on how he finishes. He could be a great guy to have with Felix and the Big 3. Plus he can always be moved back to LR if he struggles

  • busdriver25

    I heartily agree that Iwakuma deserves an extension and I also hope that Olivo finishes out the year on a high note, so some other team wants him in the off season.