2. The Mariners Need Hisashi Iwakuma and Taijuan Walker:
Feb 13, 2014; Peoria, AZ, USA; Seattle Mariners pitcher Hisashi Iwakuma during team workouts at Peoria Sports Complex. Mandatory Credit: Mark J. Rebilas-USA TODAY Sports
Both of these guys were penciled into the starting rotation before Spring Training even began. Iwakuma as the incumbent number 2 starter and 3rd place Cy Young award finalist. Walker as the barely-legal-to-drink flamethrower who showed so much promise at the end of last season.
However, both of them are hurt. Iwakuma has a splint on his middle throwing finger for two more weeks after injuring a tendon pulling balls out of a net during private drills in January.
Walker has a ‘sore shoulder’ that has apparently been lingering since December– something we should be worried about, unless we aren’t supposed to be worried about it. He is supposed to be throwing in a week after a 7-day shut down.
Without these two to start the year, the Mariners rotation behind Felix Hernandez will be a rag-tag group of scrappy vets and youngsters.