Results tagged ‘ Hisashi Iwakuma ’
Jesus Montero, Hisashi Iwakuma and the Mariner Moose spent some time today with patients at Tacoma’s Mary Bridge Children’s Hospital. Their visit was part of the on-going Mariners Get Well Tour, presented by Holland America Line. There were smiles all around as patients posed for photos, got autographs and received gift bags, courtesy of Holland America Lines.
The Mariners were part of Major League history tonight, as the starting lineup consisted of three Japanese-born players. Ichiro (RF), Munenori Kawasaki (2B) and Hisashi Iwakuma (P) became the first trio of Japanese players to start for the same team in a Major League game.
Over the next five games (starting tonight), the Mariners will send to the mound five different starting pitchers, all from different countries. Erasmo Ramirez (Nicaragua) will start things off and will be followed by Jason Vargas (United States) in the Sunday finale against the Boston Red Sox. The three pitchers who will face off against the Baltimore Orioles starting on Monday will be Hisashi Iwakuma (Japan), Felix Hernandez (Venezuela) and Hector Noesi (Dominican Republic).
That 5-day rotation leads us to ask, how many countries have been represented by Mariners pitchers? When you add in the left-hander from the bullpen Oliver Perez (Mexico), and of course the American-born players, the list grows to seven on the active roster.
Since the Mariners began playing in 1977, pitchers from 12 different coutries have toed the rubber for the team including the United States (271 pitchers), Australia (2), Canada (7), Columbia (1), Cuba (2), Dominican Republic (16), Japan (5), Mexico (5), Nicaragua (2), Puerto Rico (7), South Korea (1) and Venezuela (8).
Here’s a complete list of foreign-born Mariners pitchers:
Day 2 / Monday, February 13, 2012 / 43 Days ‘til Opening Night in Tokyo / 59 Days ‘til Opening Night in Seattle
Weather: Sunny skies with temperatures in the low to mid-60 during workouts this morning. Temperatures are continuing to warm up through the afternoon, but rain may be in the forecast for tomorrow.
Quote of the Day: Shortstop Munenori Kawasaki introducing himself to teammates, staff and media: “I am Munenori Kawasaki. Kawasaki…VROOM VROOM.” Kawasaki signed a Minor League contract with the Mariners in January and is excited to be in camp.
The Day: Pitchers and catchers were on field for the second day of camp. After day one and figuring out which field to be on and at what time, day two went smoothly with everyone getting where they needed to be on time.
Sixteen pitchers had bullpens today after 18 did yesterday, including RH Hisashi Iwakumi, RH Hector Noesi, RH Brandon League and RH Kevin Millwood. General Manager Jack Zduriencik and Manager Eric Wedge have been impressed early with the pitchers in camp.
Pitchers continued working on PFP (Pitchers Fielding Practice) drills, including fielding a bunt and covering first on a ball hit to the right side of the infield. Infielders Mike Carp, Kyle Seager and Nick Franklin stood in as first baseman for the pitchers on one of the fields. Catchers also worked on controlling the running game and throwing out runners at second base.
The catchers wrapped up the day split into two hitting groups. While working on hitting to all sides of the field, Jesus Sucre hit a screaming line drive up the middle and nearly took out coach Nasusel Cabrera gathering balls in shallow center field. Cabrera had to jump out of the way and used a ball bucket to deflect the ball. The rest of the coaching staff laughed and continued to give Cabrera a hard time until BP was over. Jesus Montero, Miguel Olivo and Adam Moore each hit multiple home runs into the parking lot.
We’ve just gotten word that pitcher Hisashi Iwakuma, who signed a free-agent contract with the Mariners on January 5, will be in Seattle Sunday for the 14th Annual Mariners FanFest.
Iwakuma will participate in several FanFest activities including a fan Q&A on top of the Mariners dugout (starting at 12:30pm). The Dugout Dialog sessions are streamed live on www.mariners.com.
Iwakuma is also scheduled to sign autographs in the afternoon. Fans wanting to get Iwakuma’s autograph need to enter through the Home Plate Gate and pick up one of the 500 Iwakuma autograph vouchers. Vouchers are on a first come, first served basis.
Iwakuma compiled a 107-69 record in 226 career games with Kintetsu (2001-04) and Rakuten (2005-2011) in the Japan League. He was named the 2008 Pacific League MVP and winner of the Eiji Sawamura Award (Cy Young equivalent) after going 21-4 with a 1.87 ERA (42 ER, 201.2 IP) in 28 starts. Last season Iwakuma was 6-7 with a 2.42 ERA (32 ER, 119.0 IP) with 90 strikeouts in 17 starts. He missed part of the season on the disabled list with a sore right shoulder.