Mariners shut down Hisashi Iwakuma’s throwing program – The Seattle Times

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Jul 07 2017

Hisashi Iwakuma received injections into his ailing right shoulder and won't throw for at least a week. He's been out since early May.

Hisashi Iwakumas return to the mound for the Mariners is looking less and less likely with each setback in his recovery from shoulder inflammation.

The veteran right-hander experienced more discomfort in his right shoulder following a bullpen session this past weekend in Anaheim. After meeting with team orthopedist Dr. Edward Khalfayan on Monday, Iwakuma has been shut down from throwing for at least a week. Iwakuma confirmed that he received a cortisone injection and a platelet rich plasma injection in his shoulder to help calmthe inflammation and speed up the recovery.

Its not feeling well yet, Iwakuma said through interpreter Antony Suzuki. Its just inflammation in my shoulder in general.

It was yet another setback in his recovery from an injury that placed him on the disabled list on May 17.

Its a lot longer than I was expecting, he said of the recovery. Its very disappointing and frustrating. But it is what it is and you just have to take it day by day.

Iwakumalast pitched in a game on May 3, throwing five innings against the Angels. After that outing, he felt discomfort in the shoulder during his midweek throwing routine. Hes made six starts this season, posting an 0-2 record with a 4.35 ERA.

This isnt the first time Iwakuma has dealt with shoulder injuries in his career. Its been an issue dating back to his time pitching in Japan. Hes had multiple disabled list stints with the Mariners because of shoulder issues and concerns over the shoulders healthduring his physical with the Dodgers led to them to scuttle athree-year contract as a free agentafter the 2015 season.

Given the nature of the injury and having to start his throwing program from the basics in a week at the earliest, a conservative expectation for his return to the rotation barring any setbacks would be in mid-August.

You just have to be patient with the situation, he said. You have to believe that things are going to get better and take it one day a time with rehab and treatment and any kind of training I can do in the weight room, just keeping my body shape.

Some people within the Mariners organization think he might not pitch again for Seattle this season, which isnt an unfair assessmentof thesituation. The Mariners are certainly at the point where theyve stopped expecting him to return and contribute. Unlike with Drew Smyly, who is scheduled to undergo season-ending Tommy John surgery in the coming days, there is no immediate closure for the situation.

Iwakuma will continue to rehab and try to return and help the Mariners in the final month of the season.If he is able to return and help, it will be a bonus.

Asked if hes confident that it will get better, Iwakuma replied: Yes, of course.

The injuries this season have insured that Iwakumas optionfor 2018 wont vest. If he had reached a total of 324 innings pitched combined from 2016 and 2017, Iwakumas option for $15 million in 2018 would have kicked in. But hes thrown just 230 innings (199 in 2017, 31 this season).

Still, this only furthers the idea that general manager Jerry Dipoto needs to add starting pitching help for this season and possibly next season at the trade deadline. After the starting rotation of James Paxton, Felix Hernandez, Ariel Miranda, Sam Gaviglio and Andrew Moore, only Christian Bergman and Chase De Jong remain in Class AAA Tacoma as options for depth.

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Mariners shut down Hisashi Iwakuma's throwing program - The Seattle Times

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