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Friday, March 28, 2014

Mariners injury update: Hisashi Iwakuma, Taijuan Walker, Corey Hart

By on 3/28/2014 11:00:00 PM

The Seattle Mariners have had their share of injuries during Spring Training just as many other teams have. Three key players, though, could make a big impact as the Mariners look to return to a contending team in 2014. Here are the latest updates on Hisashi Iwakuma, Taijuan Walker, and Corey Hart from Mariners beat writers Greg Johns of and Bob Dutton of the Tacoma News Tribune.
Iwakuma has been hampered by a strained finger tendon in his right hand. He started light tossing on March 24, but he may now begin to step up his throwing in effort to rejoin the rotation as soon as possible. The Mariners expect him back by the end of April.

Walker returned to the Spring Training mound on March 22 when he pitched in a Minor League game, but he has not done much since then. Walker is recovering from right shoulder inflammation that has limited him to just seven innings in Cactus League play. The Mariners also expect Walker back by the end of April.

Walker is the Mariners' top pitching prospect. Last year, he was 9-10 but with a 2.93 ERA in 25 Double-A and Triple-A starts and 1-0 with a 3.60 ERA in three starts with the Mariners in his Major League debut.

Hart has had some forearm and back issues throughout Spring Training, but he expects to play on Opening Day, March 31. Hart missed all of 2013 due to surgery to repair a microfracture in his right knee. As a Brewer in 2012, Hart hit .271 with 30 HR and 83 RBI. He figures to serve as the Mariners' primary designated hitter as the season begins.

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