Hisashi Iwakuma as a Starter
Since moving into the rotation, here are Hisashi Iwakuma’s numbers:
48 IP, 43 H, 17 BB, 42 K, 3.37 ERA, 3.75 xFIP
Hopefully, we’re all well past that whole silly “he doesn’t have Major League stuff” phase, and it should be pretty clear to most everyone now that Iwakuma is a perfectly capable back-end Major League starter. He gets groundballs, he gets strikeouts, and his command has improved with regular work. After he was essentially ostracized for the first several months of 2012, I figured he’d end up going somewhere else next year and show the M’s what they were missing out on. Now that they’ve actually seen it for themselves, it’d probably be worth exploring a 2013 contract extension with him.
With The Big Three all looking like they should probably begin 2013 in the minors as well, the team is still in need of big league starting pitching, and Iwakuma is showing that he is a capable big league starter. It’s too bad it took the organization a few months to figure that out, but now that we’re here, keeping him from getting to free agency is probably a worthwhile goal.