Mariners’ Iwakuma slowly making his way back to the mound

Hisashi Iwakuma is still a while away from returning off the D.L., but he's making progress. 

Gary A. Vasquez/Gary A. Vasquez-USA TODAY Sports

Hisashi Iwakuma is slowly making progress toward getting back on the mound for the Seattle Mariners.

When the club returned to Safeco Field for Thursday night’s series opener with the Cleveland Indians, ‘Kuma was seen throwing a baseball – the third consecutive day he had done so, according to ESPN Seattle’s Shannon Drayer.

Iwakuma has been on the shelf since April 20th with a right lat strain, something that has left the Mariners’ rotation without one of its supposed anchors. In Iwakuma’s absence, young left-hander Roenis Elias has pitched admirably, but the Mariners are no doubt hoping Iwakuma’s recovery continues as planned.

As Drayer mentions, he has had no setbacks yet – but manager Lloyd McClendon says he’d be “surprised” if Iwakuma progressed to the point of throwing off a mound within the next 7-9 days.

(h/t My Northwest