Mariners 25-Man Ultimate Preview: Roster-Projected Starting Pitchers
SP- Hisashi Iwakuma
IP- 165 W- 11 L- 7 ERA- 3.95 WHIP- 1.27 K-118 WAR- 2.1
The biggest surprise last offseason was the resigning of Iwakuma. Iwakuma initially signed with the Dodgers, but after failing his physical, he signed with the Mariners.
I think every Mariners fan breathed a collective sigh of relief as Iwakuma is a reliable pitcher who will never be an ace, but who every Mariners fan trusts to be productive.
Personally, Iwakuma will always have a special place in my heart as I had the privilege of attending his no-hitter. However, I will be the first one to admit, that Iwakuma is no longer the same pitcher as he was when he pitched that no-hitter and the stats back that up.
Last year, Iwakuma, although productive, saw a dramatic increase in his ERA, and his k/9 innings fell from 7.7 k/9 to 6.6 k/9, which was the lowest in his career.
People tend to forget that Iwakuma is 35 years old. He was a 31-year-old rookie, and he is aging and no longer at the peak of his career. Not many pitchers peak in their second year in the majors, but not many players make their MLB debut at 31 either.
Iwakuma will have a solid year, but he’s sadly a year or two from being on his way out. Expect this to perhaps be his last year in Mariner blue, but it expect it to be a productive one, but not necessarily anything special like we saw of him in 2013.