SATURDAY: The Mariners have announced that Mariners Medical Director E. Edward Khalfayan has confirmed that Iwakuma has inflammation in his right shoulder. Iwakuma is expected to miss four to six weeks.
WEDNESDAY: The Mariners announced that they’ve placed right-hander Hisashi Iwakuma on the 10-day disabled list due to inflammation in his right shoulder. In a corresponding move, the Mariners selected the contract of right-hander Sam Gaviglio from Triple-A Tacoma, also transferring righty Evan Marshall to the 60-day DL to clear a spot on the 40-man roster for Gaviglio. Iwakuma, according to Ryan Divish of the Seattle Times (on Twitter), is headed back to Seattle for an MRI.
Iwakuma becomes the latest Mariners starter to land on the disabled list, joining Drew Smyly, James Paxton and Felix Hernandez on the shelf. With a stunning 80 percent of their Opening Day rotation on the disabled list, Seattle has turned to lefty Ariel Miranda and offseason acquisitions Chase De Jong and Dillon Overton in the rotation mix. Gaviglio may eventually join that mix, though for now right-hander Christian Bergman will step into the rotation and make a start in Toronto, Bob Dutton of the Tacoma News Tribune tweets.
The 26-year-old Gaviglio, then, could initially be ticketed for long relief or could start in place of Overton next time around. Gaviglio had been pitching well in Triple-A, recording a 3.31 ERA with 4.4 K/9, 0.8 BB/9 and a 57.4 percent ground-ball rate through five starts (32 2/3 innings) with Tacoma. Originally acquired from the Cardinals back in 2014 in exchange for Ty Kelly, Gaviglio has a 4.38 ERA with 6.6 K/9 against 2.4 BB/9 in parts of three Triple-A seasons (197 1/3 innings).
Iwakuma’s status is especially worth monitoring due to the fact that his health will determine whether his 2018 option vests. As noted yesterday when parsing through the vesting options around the league, Iwakuma is just 94 innings shy of locking in a $10MM salary for the 2018 season.