Japanese pitcher Hisashi Iwakuma said to be eyeing MLB

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Hisashi Iwakuma is one of the best pitchers in Japan and according to Jason Coskrey of the Japan Times he “wants to try and head to MLB via posting after the season.”
Coskey adds that Iwakuma’s team, the Tohoku Rakuten Golden Eagles, are “said to be reluctant” to let him go, no doubt in part because they still have the 29-year-old under contract for another season.
However, Patrick Newman of NPB Tracker and Fan Graphs told MLB Trade Rumors that the Golden Eagles may want to get value in return for Iwakuma before losing him for nothing as a free agent.
Newman recently pegged Iwakuma as “the second-best MLB pitching prospect” in Japan behind phenom Yu Darvish, calling him “a fairly standard fastball/slider/forkball righty” who “can reach 95 mph with his fastball, but mostly works around 90-91.”
Iwakuma has a 2.74 ERA and 138 strikeouts in 187 innings this season. His best year came in 2008, when he went 21-4 with a 1.87 ERA and 159 strikeouts in 201.2 innings. And, obviously, he looks dapper in a suit.

Jake Arrieta to return to Cubs’ rotation on Thursday

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Cubs starter Jake Arrieta has been out over two weeks with a strained right hamstring, but he’s ready to return to action. The right-hander threw a bullpen on Tuesday and it went well, so he will start in Thursday’s series opener against the Brewers in Milwaukee, MLB.com’s Carrie Muskat reports.

Arrieta, 31, returns with a 14-9 record, a 3.48 ERA, and a 157/53 K/BB ratio in 160 1/3 innings. If he stays on schedule, he’ll make three starts through the end of the regular season, including the regular season finale on October 1 against the Reds.

Arrieta is expected to max out at 75-80 pitches on Thursday and will ramp up through the end of the month.

Cardinals activate Adam Wainwright from the disabled list

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The Cardinals announced ahead of Tuesday’s series opener against the Reds that pitcher Adam Wainwright has been activated from the 10-day disabled list.

Wainwright, 36, has been absent since mid-August due to a right elbow impingement. The Cardinals plan to use him out of the bullpen through the end of the season. Prior to the injury, the right-hander posted a disappointing 5.12 ERA with a 96/44 K/BB ratio in 121 1/3 innings.

Wainwright is under contract for one more year at $19.5 million before becoming eligible for free agency.