5 Mariners that Need to Step Up in the 2nd Half

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Apr 20, 2015; Seattle, WA, USA; Seattle Mariners manager Lloyd McClendon (21) relieves pitcher Hisashi Iwakuma (18) from the mound during the sixth inning against the Houston Astros at Safeco Field. Mandatory Credit: Joe Nicholson-USA TODAY Sports

Hisashi Iwakuma – SP

This season has not been kind to Hisashi Iwauma. He sports a 1-1 record with a 5.22 ERA across 5 starts in 2015. Kuma has struck out 20 and walked 5 over the course of 29.1 innings pitched. He is allowing 1.227 walks/hits per inning, which matches a career high. Iwakuma’s biggest problem has been the long ball. He is leaving far too many of his pitches over the middle of the plate, and has surrendered 9 home runs this season.

The 34-year-old right-hander finished the 2014 season going 3-3 with a 7.88 ERA over his last 7 outings. Unfortunately for M’s fans, Iwakuma’s poor performance down the stretch appears to have carried over into this season. Injuries have been a problem for Kuma throughout his big league career, and he missed nearly 3 months this year recovering from a lat strain.

It is hard to believe, but Iwkauma represented the Mariners at the 2013 All-Star Game, and finished 3rd in Cy Young Voting that year. Kuma showed signs of life by hurling 8 shutout frames his last time out. Seattle will need him to keep it going if they have any hope of making a playoff push this summer.

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