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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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Mookie Betts, Javier Baez leading off the All-Star lineups

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I can’t imagine what it’s like to fill out the lineup card for an All-Star team. Most of the guys are 1-4 hitters on their own teams, but you gotta slot most of them someplace lower. Egos are probably a consideration. Strategic stuff. “Which top of the order or middle of the lineup hitter is batting eighth?” is both a difficult and thankless question.

Dave Roberts and A.J. Hinch have to do it anyway, and today they released the All-Star lineups. Seeing Bryce Harper batting sixth and Manny Machado batting seventh is just not part of the usual baseball experience:

AMERICAN LEAGUE

1. Mookie Betts, RF
2. Jose Altuve, 2B
3. Mike Trout, CF
4. J.D. Martinez, DH
5. Jose Ramirez, 3B
6. Aaron Judge, LF
7. Manny Machado, SS
8. Jose Abreu, 1B
9. Salvador Perez, C

NATIONAL LEAGUE

1. Javier Baez, 2B
2. Nolan Arenado, 3B
3. Paul Goldschmidt, DH
4. Freddie Freeman, 1B
5. Matt Kemp, LF
6. Bryce Harper, CF
7. Nick Markakis, RF
8. Brandon Crawford, SS
9. Willson Contreras, C

Not that this is gonna hold for long what with all of the substitutions.