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.