Mariners receive good news on Hisashi Iwakuma

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The Mariners got some good news on right-hander hisashi Iwakuma. Shannon Drayer of 710 ESPN Seattle reports that the right-hander was fully cleared. Iwakuma will be able to resume his throwing program as he makes his way back from a strained middle finger. Mid-to-late April remains the target for his return.

Iwakuma, 32, finished third in AL Cy Young balloting last season, finishing with a 2.16 ERA and a 4.4 strikeout-to-walk ratio in 219 2/3 innings. While prognosticators don’t expect him to repeat the 2.16 ERA, he is still projected to be a solid contributor behind Felix Hernandez when he returns.

Video: Aaron Judge hits 47th, 48th homers, now one shy of tying Mark McGwire’s rookie record

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Yankees outfielder Aaron Judge went yard twice in Sunday afternoon’s 9-5 loss to the Blue Jays, bringing his season total up to 48. That leaves him just one home run shy of tying the single-season rookie record set by Mark McGwire with the Athletics in 1987.

After Sunday’s performance, Judge is hitting .281/.416/.610 with 48 home runs, 105 RBI, and 122 runs scored in 651 plate appearances. He has the AL Rookie of the Year Award on lock and is neck-and-neck with the Astros’ Jose Altuve, Chris Sale of the Red Sox, and the Indians’ Corey Kluber in the AL MVP Award race.

Miguel Cabrera has two herniated discs in his back

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Tigers first baseman Miguel Cabrera underwent an MRI which revealed two herniated discs in his back, MLB.com’s Jason Beck reports. With six games remaining in the season, if Cabrera plays again, it will be as a designated hitter.

The back issues shed a lot of light on Cabrera’s uncharacteristically subpar season. He’s batting .249/.329/.399 with 16 home runs and 60 RBI in 529 plate appearances this season. He carries an adjusted OPS of 92, which is eight points below the league average and 14 points below his previous career low set in 2003 with the Marlins.

Cabrera, 34, is signed through 2023 and is owed a minimum of $192 million through the end of his contract.