Mariners right-hander Hisashi Iwakuma will be sidelined 4-6 weeks after suffering a strained tendon in his right middle finger during a workout on Wednesday. He won't even pick up a baseball for three weeks and is expected to miss the start of the regular season.
Iwakuma, 32, went 14-6 with a 2.66 ERA (138 ERA+) and a 4.40 K/BB in 219 2/3 innings last year. That performance earned him a third place finish in the Cy Young voting. Iwakuma has had a lot of injury problems in his career and he never once put together back-to-back healthy seasons during his time in Japan.
The Mariners had been sniffing around the pitching market in recent weeks and this could lead to them getting more serious about adding an arm. With Iwakuma out, their rotation behind Felix Hernandez figures to include Erasmo Ramirez, Taijuan Walker, James Paxton and Scott Baker.