However, Iwakuma didn't live up to his end of the bargain as he accidentally hit outfielder
“It was a split-finger [fastball] that just kind of slipped out of my finger,” Iwakuma said through interpreter Antony Suzuki, via The News Tribune. “I felt kind of bad for [Guerrero].”
Iwakuma's first scheduled start of spring training is slated for this Saturday against the Diamondbacks.
While most of Seattle's pitchers are tossing live batting practice,
“This is by design,” McClendon said. “We’re just stretching him out a little more. Kuma is A-OK and everything is fine. He has no issues at all. I don’t think he needs the live BPs. The guy is such a technician, he gets more done in a bullpen session than he would in a live BP.”
Iwakuma was 12-6 with a 2.57 ERA in his first 21 starts last season before going 3-3 with a 7.88 ERA in his final seven outings.
“I kind of ran out of gas there,” he said through translator Antony Suzuki. “It wasn’t like I was very, very tired. I was just fatigued mentally and physically and that’s something I need to work on in spring training.
“I’m very excited (for 2015). It’s a different year compared to where I was last year. I’m very motivated. I look forward to the season and I’m looking forward to a good spring training.”
Iwakuma is set to be a free-agent following the 2015 season, but wants to continue to the pitch in the United States. The 33-year-old could have opted to return to Japan, but has no plans to do so at the moment.
Iwakuma posted a 3.52 ERA over 179 innings last year.
"There's no truth to that," Zduriencik said. "I didn't have any substantive dialogue there. With Felix (Hernandez) and Iwakuma at the top and the other young guys we have, that's a formidable rotation."
Iwakuma, who was an All-Star in 2013, won a career-high 15 games in 28 starts in 2014. He is 38-20 with a 3.07 ERA and 1.09 WHIP in 91 outings (77 starts) since joining Seattle in 2012.
It's actually unclear if the club picked up the option or if Iwakuma reached enough benchmarks during the year for the option to automatically vest. Either way, he'll return to Seattle for $7 million next season. Iwakuma was fantastic in 2014, posting a 3.52 ERA over 179 innings.
|CBSSports.com Player Ranking|
|9/28/2014 vs L.A. Angels|
|vs L.A. Angels||16.2||1||1||5.94||0||2||11|
|Last 7 Games|
|Complete Game Log|
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