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Sunday, February 17, 2019

Ex-Mariners All-Star pitcher heading back to Japan

Hisashi IwakumaFormer Seattle Mariners All-Star pitcher Hisashi Iwakuma is heading back to Japan to see if he can continue his professional baseball career.

Iwakuma spoke with Mariners reporters on Tuesday and said he was going back to his home country, with an eye on playing there next season.

Iwakuma was trying to work his way back from shoulder surgery and signed a minor league contract with the Mariners for 2018, but he was only able to make two appearances in the minors this season.

The 37-year-old joined Seattle in 2012, and it didn’t take him long to make an impact. He went 9-5 with a 3.16 ERA as a rookie. The following season he went 14-6 with a 2.66 ERA and 185 strikeouts in 219.2 innings. He made the All-Star team and finished third in Cy Young voting that year. Iwakuma will close his 6-year big league career with a 63-39 record and 3.42 ERA in 883.2 innings. He will also be remembered for throwing a no-hitter in 2015.

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