WBC Update: Hisashi Iwakuma Will Not Pitch for Japan

Much like Yu Darvish, Hisashi Iwakuma has made the decision to skip the 2013 World Baseball Classic.  The Japanese pitcher was slated to throw for his home country, but instead he will focus on preparing for the 2013 season with the Seattle Mariners.

Iwakuma is not injured, but he wants to keep it that way.  CBS Sports is reporting that the 31-year old righty wants to focus on pitching for his new team, the team that just inked him to a new contract.  The Mariners and Iwakuma agreed to a two-year deal last week.  The deal is worth $14 million overall.

Iwakuma started 16 games and made 30 appearances overall for the Mariners this past season.  He posted a 9-5 record and a 3.16 ERA.  In five seasons of Japanese ball, Iwakuma was 55-31 with a 2.67 ERA.  He started all 113 games he appeared in for Tohoku Rakuten Golden Eagles.

The Mariners, who seem to be in a constant rebuilding cycle, are hoping their core of starting pitchers can help them move towards contention.  They will be moving in the fences at Safeco, so the park will become a little less pitcher-friendly, but pitchers should still have a lot of success there.

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