BY SPNW Staff 07:40AM 05/13/2017

Iwakuma out 4-6 weeks; Mariners call up starter

Hisashi Iwakuma, 36, will be out four to six weeks with shoulder inflammation, the Mariners said Saturday. He was losing velocity and control in his most recent starts, and the Mariners sent him home from the road trip for an exam by medical director Dr. Edward Khalfayan.

The Mariners Saturday morning also called up RHP Ryan Weber from AAA Tacoma and  designated reliever Jean Machi for assignment. Weber was to start at 10 a.m. Saturday  when Seattle (17-19) plays the third of a four-game series at Rogers Centre in Toronto, where it lost the first two games 7-2 and 4-0.

Weber, 26, went 2-0 with a 0.85 ERA in six games (five starts) with Tacoma this season. He leads the Pacific Coast League in ERA. The 6-foot-1, 180-pound right-hander began the season allowing no runs in his first three games.

He was outrighted to Tacoma Dec. 2 after being claimed off waivers from Atlanta Nov. 2. He went 1-1 with a 5.45 ERA with Atlanta last season. In 26 games (five starts) with AAA Gwinnett, Weber was 2-3 with a 2.76 ERA.

A native of St. Petersburg, FL, Weber was drafted by the Braves in the 22nd round of the 2009 draft out of St. Petersburg College. He made his MLB debut with Atlanta Sept. 8, 2015 at Philadelphia. In parts of two seasons with the Braves, his record was 1-4 with a 5.15 ERA.

Machi, 35, made five relief appearances with the Mariners after being selected from Tacoma May 2. The 6-foot, 235-pound right-hander went 1-0 with a 1.17 ERA.


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YourThoughts

  • Dale

    Machi had pretty good stats. I guess they think he’ll pass waivers or that he has less potential than other demotees. As for Felix and Iwakuma, they seem so old and fragile maybe this should be the last year for both if we could get something for them.

    • wabubba67

      Should have traded Felix at least two seasons ago when value was still reasonably high. Would have just let Kuma walk in FA…but he came back relatively cheap after Dodgers changed their mind due to injury concerns. Now? We can only hope that both come back and pitch decently so that we can trade them for an average middle reliever or two. Poor management.

      • coug73

        Perhaps you are right, however with a warehouse of King bobble heads and soon to be promoted Kuma, Kendama Toy night management must play out the season with the players mentioned.

        • Kevin Lynch

          Yes, I think so. In for a penny, in for a pound. The resolve now should be to get the starters understanding that they need to return ASAP. This may require pitching through a little pain, whatever. But they will tank a critical season if they, combined, miss as many games as it seems they might. There is no next guy up who is worth a crap, apparently. This is the nightmare of guaranteed contracts. You’ve demotivated them to return soon.

          • art thiel

            Motivation is not an issue. Arm/shoulder injuries are the issue. Far as I know, none of these guys are malingerers.

          • Kevin Lynch

            The Mariners have just been swept in a 4 game series by one of the worst teams in baseball in a super critical year. It’s all hands on deck. No exceptions. Not that I have any money on this, understand. No sir. Just sayin’, that’s all.

          • art thiel

            The Jays had a slow start, but they are not a bad team. And the last critical year the Mariners had was in 1995, when the team could have moved to Tampa. This year is merely same ‘ol, same ol’.

        • art thiel

          Marketing trinkets wouldn’t stop a deal. But I doubt there was a market for either pitcher in the offseason. No other team would pay Felix’s salary.

          • wabubba67

            Cubs, Dodgers, Yankees, Red Sox…if he could show an ability to pitch reasonably well and stay healthy during a playoff push.

          • art thiel

            Huge if. All scouts see a once-great starter on a fade. Felix is another example of the consequences of MLB’s long-term guaranteed deals.

      • art thiel

        Hindsight makes the call easy. Felix is a rare guy who twice re-signed with the Mariners when he could have moved on. That counts for something.

        • wabubba67

          I’ve been banging the drum on Felix for 2.5 years (and Ichiro long before traded for Farquhar)…I love the guy, but at some point every player has more value in a trade than he does on the field (relative to salary). Unsentimental teams consistently win.

          • art thiel

            That’s true. But baseball so often is about sentiment, among owners as well as fans.

    • art thiel

      They needed a starter, and Machi could end up in Tacoma.

  • GuyBird

    And now Weber joins the parade of the injured. What in the world?

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  • RadioGuy

    Another arm injury to a pitcher. With all the emphasis on JUGS guns these days, I have to wonder if the pressure to throw hard on every pitch is causing these guys to put too much strain on their arms, although that’s not the case with Iwakuma. Pitching is about so much more than velocity (hello, Jamie Moyer), but you’d never know it.

    • art thiel

      Other than Smyly, Hernandez and Diaz pitching in the WBC, I see no connection among these injuries. We want to see a pattern because we humans abhor coincidence as an explanation.

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