Mariners' top pitchers Iwakuma, Walker likely to miss opening day

Hisashi Iwakuma was a star for the Mariners in 2013, finishing third in the AL Cy Young voting.
Elaine Thompson/AP

PEORIA, Ariz. (AP) Seattle manager Lloyd McClendon says it would be "hard-pressed" for either Hisashi Iwakuma or Taijuan Walker to be in the Mariners rotation on opening day because of their injury setbacks during spring training.

McClendon said Saturday morning that the injuries to Iwakuma (finger) and Walker (shoulder) are opening opportunities for others in camp. But the injuries also leave a rotation that had questions entering spring training even more uncertain.

Iwakuma will have his right middle finger in a splint for another three weeks before throwing, while Walker is being shut down for a week because of inflammation in his right shoulder.

McClendon also confirmed that Felix Hernandez is expected to be Seattle's opening day starter when the Mariners open the season on March 31 against the Angels.

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