Mariners’ right-hander Hisashi Iwakuma is scheduled to miss 4-6 weeks with right shoulder inflammation, per an official announcement by the team on Saturday. Iwakuma had been battling knee and shoulder pain over the last week and was placed on the 10-day disabled list on Wednesday (retroactive to May 7) after a preliminary evaluation revealed inflammation in his pitching shoulder. The diagnosis was confirmed on Friday by Dr. Ed Khalfayan.
It’s been a rough start to the season for the 36-year-old righty, who posted a 4.35 ERA, 3.5 BB/9 and 4.6 SO/9 over his first 31 innings in Seattle. He’s coming off of some career-high numbers in 2016, during which he racked up a career-best 16 wins and a career-worst 4.12 ERA and 6.6 SO/9 rate through 199 innings. This is the first significant injury he’s seen since 2015, when he missed the first half of the season with a strained lat muscle.
The Mariners look significantly worse for wear after losing over half of their 2017 rotation to various injuries. James Paxton (left forearm strain) is scheduled to return to the rotation sometime in the next week or two, though it stands to reason that the club would take things slowly with one of their best pitchers. Felix Hernandez (right shoulder inflammation) and Drew Smyly (left flexor strain) are working with longer timetables for recovery, and neither are likely to see the mound before June. In the meantime, the Mariners will roll with right-hander Ryan Weber, who was recalled from Triple-A Tacoma to make his season debut against the Blue Jays on Saturday.