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Hisashi Iwakuma underwent shoulder surgery

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Mariners’ right-hander Hisashi Iwakuma has undergone arthroscopic shoulder debridement surgery, the club announced Friday. The procedure was performed on Wednesday and is expected to sideline the starter through the next five months, at which point he’s expected to start throwing off the mound again. He hasn’t appeared in a big league game since May, when he was initially diagnosed with a bout of right shoulder inflammation.

Needless to say, this isn’t how Iwakuma envisioned his return to Seattle when he signed a one-year, $12 million contract with the Mariners in 2015. He produced a career-best 16 wins and 4.12 ERA with the club in 2016, but his 2017 season was derailed in just six starts after he compiled a 4.35 ERA, 3.5 BB/9 and 4.6 SO/9 over 31 innings. He’s scheduled to hit free agency this fall and is likely looking at a minor league deal somewhere, per Ryan Divish of the Seattle Times.

While Iwakuma’s major league future is still up in the air, the 36-year-old hurler said he wants to return in 2018 to “give back to everyone.” Hopefully, he’ll still have a platform to do that.

I underwent shoulder cleaning surgery. The surgery was operated successfully so I’m relieved! I’ll do my best to rehabilitate for the return of new season. The surgery was done in one day so my family came to support me and my wife became a private nurse! (^_^) At the time of surgery, I’m truly thankful to the Seattle Mariners, its team of trainers, Tony of the Mariners’ interpreter, and my agents for the great support. I would like to give back to everyone by pitching on the mound next season. Thank you very much for your continuous support to all the fans! I’ll do my best to come back! (*^^*) . 肩のクリーニング手術をしました。 無事に終わり、安心しました! 来シーズンの復帰に向けてリハビリしっかり頑張ります。 アメリカは日帰り手術なので、家族もサポートしに同行してくれて、嫁さんが専属看護師になってくれています(^_^) 手術に際して、マリナーズやマリナーズのトレーナー陣はじめ、マリナーズの通訳のトニーさん、エージェントにもお世話になり、感謝しています! 来シーズン、メジャーのマウンドに立つ事で皆さんに恩返ししたいと思います。 ファンの皆さんもいつも激励をありがとうございます! 頑張ります(*^^*)

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Mike Fiers may not be ready for start of regular season due to back issue

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Anthony Fenech of the Detroit Free Press reports that Tigers starter Mike Fiers is dealing with a back issue and may not be ready for the start of the season. Manager Ron Gardenhire characterized the injury as a “stiff back” and added, “Maybe a little bit of a bulging disk or something like that.”

Fiers, 32, signed a one-year, $6 million deal with the Tigers in December. He has had a forgettable spring, yielding 12 runs on 10 hits and eight walks with seven strikeouts in 11 1/3 innings.

Fiers had a rotation spot locked up along with Michael Fulmer, Jordan Zimmermann, and Francisco Liriano. Matt Boyd and Daniel Norris were battling it out for the No. 5 spot. If Fiers opens the regular season on the 10-day disabled list, both could have spots in the rotation.