The Mariners got some good news today. Hisashi Iwakuma visited hand specialist Dr. Donald Sheridan this morning and was cleared to have the protective splint removed from his injured middle finger. He will still wear it during workouts for the next few days for protection and wear it at night when he sleeps.
With the splint off, Iwakuma will do finger strengthening, movement and range of motion exercises since it was immobilized for five weeks.
“The finger is very stiff right now, but the good thing is I am pain free,” Iwakuma said through translator Antony Suzuki.
He will throw a tennis ball on Friday, Saturday and Sunday with the hope of throwing baseballs on Monday.
Why tennis balls?
“Because that’s what the doctor said,” McClendon replied.
Iwakuma was all smiles in the clubhouse.
“To be honest, it’s been a very, very long five weeks,” Iwakuma said. “I’ve done everything I was supposed to do.
McClendon wouldn’t give a specific date as to when Iwakuma would step on a mound. But it seems as though he’s starting over with his throwing program. Iwakuma wasn’t certain either.
“It’s hard to say being in my situation right now,” he said. “I want to come back soon, but I don’t want to push it and have any more setbacks. It’s a long season and I look forward to finishing strong. That’s all I have in mind.”
Iwakuma said he’d only need one to two starts to find the feel of his pitches, but it will take longer to build his pitch count and arm strength.
Mariners 5, Padres 5: Randy Wolf pitched four scoreless innings for Seattle as the Mariners and San Diego Padres played to a 5-5 tie Tuesday night.
Wolf, who did not play last season after having Tommy John surgery in 2012, scattered two hits and two walks, while striking out three on 73 pitches.
Seattle infielder Brad Miller finished 3 for 4 with a triple, three runs and his fourth homer of the spring in the third inning.
Miller is battling Nick Franklin for the starting shortstop role.