It’s looking more unlikely that All-Star right-hander Hisashi Iwakuma will make a rehab start for the Tacoma Rainiers on Tuesday.
It’s less to do with him and more to do with the forecast. It’s likely to rain Tuesday and the Mariners organization is unlikely to send Iwakuma to the mound in Tacoma if there’s a chance he’ll injure himself because of it, Rainiers manager Roy Howell said.
“We can’t have him slipping and blowing out a groin muscle or pulling a hamstring because the field is wet fielding a bunt,” Howell said. “I would imagine conditions will factor in majorly on whether he will be here tomorrow.”
According to AccuWeather, there is a 58 percent chance of precipitation in Tacoma on Tuesday with the high expected to be 54 degrees and the low at 43.
Howell admitted that he doesn’t have the last say in these situations. He won’t know whether Iwakuma will make a rehab start until before Tuesday’s 6:05 p.m. series finale against the Sacramento River Cats.
“That’s one of those types of decisions where it will come down to if he throws a bullpen today. I don’t know where he’s at until my phone rings and they say he’s coming to pitch. But until that happens, I don’t know.”
Iwakuma has been out since February with an injury to his middle finger.
The News Tribune’s Mariners beat writer Bob Dutton reported in today’s paper that plans had called for Iwakuma to throw 45-50 pitches in his first outing, and then push to 70 pitches by next weekend. And that, barring a setback, he would return to the Mariners during a 10-game trip that starts April 29 in New York.