Update 4:43 Biggio time
It’s official that Iwakuma will start tomorrow. It’s a 3 p.m. start here, and 1 p.m. back in the Puget Sound. Manager Lloyd McClendon wouldn’t say what the corresponding roster move, but it seems like it will be Lucas Luetge, who will be sent back to Tacoma – tough break for a guy, who grew up just outside of Houston.
McClendon said he’ll have Iwakuma at around 100 pitch limit. With Iwakuma’s efficiency, that should be enough to get him 6-7 innings.
“He’s a strike thrower,” McClendon said. “Anything can happen at any time, but I don’t foresee it as being a problem.”
Iwakuma seemed excited and anxious to make his first start.
“I look forward to tomorrow,” he said through translator Antony Suzuki. “It’s been a long wait. I’ve always wanted to be part of the team soon and contribute, so that said, it’s a very exciting day for me.”
It hasn’t been fun sitting and watching his teammates on the field.
“It wasn’t easy,” he said. “I’ve never been in this kind of situation before, but at the same time you don’t want to lose your focus. You want to take it one step at a time. To be back at this stage, I’m happy that I’m here today and starting again.”
Iwakuma feels ready to pitch. But he knows the circumstances are different than normal. He just doesn’t have the innings built up because of the injury.
“I feel good right now,” he said. “I feel strong in general, but the reality is I’ve only had one rehab start. So I’m obviously not 100 percent, but I’m good to go for a game. So we’ll go from there and hopefully things work well tomorrow and I get the pitch count up higher than what we had in Las Vegas.”
James Paxton and Taijuan Walker are playing catch still. McClendon said the hope is that both will begin throwing bullpen sessions next week. McClendon did say that Walker is a little ahead of Paxton.
Logan Morrison (hamstring) still hasn’t begun to start running yet and is nowhere near ready to return.
Blake Beavan (shoulder tendinitis) has not been cleared to resume throwing.
From earlier …
It is Felix day so you can be happy about that.
Last night when I wrote about McClendon saying “the players make out the line-up,” it’s just a little saying he likes to break out since we ask him every day about the line-up because we are asked every day about the line-up. Obviously, Abraham Almonte wouldn’t have been in the line-up after the first few weeks if he went specifically off of results from the day before.
Speaking of Almonte, he’s back in there today and playing center field but at least batting ninth. Will this help? Will the realization that he had too much head movement during his swing make a difference? I have no idea. I do think putting him out there daily when he struggling so much was a detriment to him.
Several people sent me the links to this story from 538.com about the No. 2 spot in the batting order. Yes, the Mariners seem to do it a little differently. I’m not really sure who on this team fits the profile of that the author is writing about. I guess Kyle Seager. I’m truly indifferent when it comes to the batting order on most days. There are so many philosophies about line-up construction. I’m not sure I believe in one any more than the other. I guess I believe that Cano should be batting third and Hart batting fourth, beyond that, it’s stacking pancakes.
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