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Mariners Notebook: Hisashi Iwakuma suffers another setback in recovery from shoulder injury

Mariners starting pitcher Hisashi Iwakuma throws against the Los Angeles Angels on May 3, 2017, in Seattle. (Elaine Thompson / Associated Press)
Mariners starting pitcher Hisashi Iwakuma throws against the Los Angeles Angels on May 3, 2017, in Seattle. (Elaine Thompson / Associated Press)
By Bob Dutton Tacoma News Tribune

SEATTLE – The road back for injured Mariners right-hander Hisashi Iwakuma hit another major bump when he experienced renewed discomfort in his shoulder while throwing a routine bullpen workout.

“I’m not feeling well yet,” he confirmed. “That’s why I’ve shut it down for a couple of days. It’s the same (problem). Inflammation in my shoulder.”

Iwakuma said he received a combined cortisone and platelet rich plasma (PRP) shot in an effort to aid the healing. He expects to resume a throwing program in about a week.

“It’s a lot longer than I was expecting,” he said. “So it’s disappointing and frustrating. It is what it is. You just have to take it day by day. You just have to be patient with the situation.

“You just have to believe that things are going to get better. Take it one day at a time. Rehab and treatment.”

Iwakuma, 36, was 0-2 with a 4.35 ERA in six starts before his ailing shoulder forced him to the disabled list after a May 3 start against the Los Angeles Angels. He made two minor-league rehab starts last month before problems resurfaced.

While Iwakuma is making $14 million this year, his injury means he’s unlikely to trigger a $15 million vesting option for next season.

For the option to vest, he needs to pitch another 94 innings this season.

Mariners confirm four international signings

The Mariners confirmed agreements Tuesday with four 16-year-old players in the international signing period and a fifth appears on the way.

The four confirmed signings:

Dominican OF Julio Rodriguez

Rated as the No. 6 player in the international market, according to Baseball America. He reportedly received $1.75 million of the Mariners’ $4.75 million bonus pool.

“Rodriguez has a power bat along with a good feel for hitting,” said Tim Kissner, the Mariners’ director of international scouting.

“We’ve been impressed all along with his raw power potential and his ability to make contact in games, and we think the combination of both could lead to a power-hitting middle of the lineup type of player.”

Venezuelan SS Juan Querecuto

Ranked as the No. 21 international prospect.

“Querecuto is an advance-minded shortstop that plays above his years,” Kissner said. “He is advanced for a 16-year-old with good tools across the board.

“He has natural abilities that come from playing baseball with his brother and father who both have professional playing experience.”

Venezuelan LHP Brayan Perez

“Perez is extremely projectable with a clean delivery and loose arm action,” Kissner said. “We really like his feel for the breaking pitch and like the upside that he provides from the left side.”

Dominican RHP Yeuri Tatiz

“Tatiz is an athletic player with a clean arm action and a good feel for his secondary pitches,” Kissner said. “With his ability to repeat his delivery and throw strikes, we profile him a starter who will continue to mature physically as he gets into our system.”

The Mariners also have an agreement in place with Dominican right-hander Joseph Hernandez, according to Baseball America.

The international signing period began Sunday and covers foreign-born players who are not eligible for the MLB Draft.

A player must be 16 years old when he signs and turn 17 either by Sept. 1 or by the conclusion of his first pro season (which is later). All clubs are assigned a spending limit and face escalating penalties for exceeding it.

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