Mariners righty Hisashi Iwakuma is not progressing as had been hoped, as Ryan Divish of the Seattle Times reports. Following another setback, he has received cortisone and platelet-rich plasma injections in his troublesome right shoulder.
The hope, of course, is that this course of treatment will spur healing and finally allow Iwakuma to maintain steady progress. But the expectation had been that the veteran starter would long since have advanced back to the majors.
Seattle’s rotation is in better shape now than it has been at times, with Felix Hernandez and James Paxton returning and rookie Andrew Moore showing well in his first two MLB starts. Ariel Miranda and Sam Gaviglio are producing solid results, though their peripherals portend some regression.
Still, Iwakuma’s halting recovery is an ongoing concern for a club that continues to hover around .500 — along with much of the rest of the American League. Indeed, Divish notes that there’s at least a strand of thinking in the organization of the belief that Iwakuma won’t contribute again this season.
It’s still anyone’s guess just how the M’s will approach the deadline with the division out of reach but a Wild Card berth still fully plausible. Seattle will have an opportunity to see how Iwakuma progresses over the next three weeks or so, and the on-field results will also impact the calculus. If the team looks into additions, though, the rotation arguably represents the primary area of need — particularly with southpaw Drew Smyly now ruled out for the year following Tommy John surgery.