Apr 3, 2014; Oakland, CA, USA; Injured Seattle Mariners starting pitcher Hisashi Iwakuma (18) smiles during batting practice before the game against the Oakland Athletics at O.co Coliseum. Mandatory Credit: Kelley L Cox-USA TODAY Sports

Hisashi Iwakuma Pitches Well Enough in Triple-A Rehab Start


Apr 3, 2014; Oakland, CA, USA; Injured Seattle Mariners starting pitcher Hisashi Iwakuma (18) smiles during batting practice before the game against the Oakland Athletics at O.co Coliseum. Mandatory Credit: Kelley L Cox-USA TODAY Sports

Hisashi Iwakuma started the Tacoma Rainiers’ game on Sunday against the Las Vegas 51s.

In four innings of work, ‘Kuma allowed 3 runs (2 earned), on 6 hits and no walks. He struck out 2 in his 4 innings of work.

All the runs were given up in the first inning of the game. Iwakuma totalled 76 pitches thrown, 54 for strikes. He had good control and his typical slow-moving routine on the mound.

If there is anything to take away from last night’s rehab start it is this: Iwakuma is ready to join the Mariners on Friday in Houston.

After having missed all of Spring Training and the first month of a season with a injury to the middle finger on his throwing hand, ‘Kuma started his rehab and conditioning a few weeks ago. Throwing with the tennis ball went well. So to did the bullpen sessions and the simulated games.

Now, it’s time to bring the Mariners number 2 back to the bigs.

The Mariners rotation has been hanging by a thread this season with the release of Randy Wolf and injuries to Iwakuma, Taijuan Walker, James Paxton, and Brandon Maurer. Erasmo Ramirez struggled so much he was sent down to Single-A ball, while Chris Young and Roenis Elias have been pleasant surprises thus far in the season.

With a rough 10-14 start to the season, Iwakuma will be welcomed back to the rotation with open arms. The man who finished third in the 2013 Cy Young voting is desperately needed out on the mound every five days.

Keep your eyes on twitter and here at Sodo Mojo for any moves and update regarding roster moves.

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  • maqman

    So who should be dropped from the rotation when Kuma returns? Out of Ramirez, Maurer, Young and Elias I’m guessing it will be Ramirez. If it wasn’t for He Who Has The Pencil I’d keep Erasmo but given the way he was denigrated by Pencilman, which would most likely be continued if he is retained, he’s probably best off out of the line of fire. The other three are equally unpromising. After Kuma I’m most looking forward to the return of Paxton, I think will ultimately turn out better than Walker.

    • Dan Hughes

      Remember, Ramirez is already gone. Optioned to High Desert. So the team has a 4 man rotation for the moment. They will have to send a reliever or position player down when Kuma is ready.

      My guess is either Gillespie or Almonte depending on how the next week goes.

      When Paxton and Walker come back, we probably say goodbye to Young and Maurer. Though you could argue to keep Young as a long reliever.

    • GD

      Ramirez was sent down to Single A last week. My guess is luege will be sent down and Maurer will eventually end up in the pen. Elias has been the unexpected surprise this sping and early on. I expect Elias stays in rotation until Paxton and Walker are back.

      • JJ Allen Keller

        You think Elias stays over Young? I think Young goes to the pen or AAA when/if everyone is healthy.

      • CharlieSpencer-Davis

        Also, if Walker and/or Paxton take longer than expected AND Elias keeps pitching well, The M’s can wait to bring Walker and/or Paxton back up and delay their service time clocks for another season.