PEORIA, Ariz. — Mariners manager Lloyd McClendon said Saturday that right-handers Hisashi Iwakuma and Taijuan Walker would be "hard pressed" to be in the opening-day rotation because of injury setbacks during spring training.
The injuries to Iwakuma (finger), a Cy Young Award finalist last season, and Walker (shoulder) will open up chances for others in camp, McClendon said. But they leave a rotation that had questions entering spring training even more uncertain.
"I always plan for the worst, and our contingency plan has been that," McClendon said. "So like I said before, this gives other guys opportunities to go out and see what they can do. We'll see what happens."
Iwakuma will have his right middle finger in a splint for another three weeks before throwing. Walker is being shut down for a week because of right shoulder inflammation. It will be early to mid April before either is expected to pitch in a game.
Seattle is being cautious with Walker, 21, because of his age. The finger injury has become frustrating for Iwakuma. When he went to see hand specialist Dr. Don Sheridan on Friday, Iwakuma expected he'd be able to start throwing Saturday.
Instead, he was told to avoid throwing for three more weeks. The earliest Iwakuma is expected to pick up a ball is March 21.
"I was honestly disappointed and frustrated, too, at the same time, but you have to respect what the doctor says," Iwakuma said through an interpreter. "I was ready to play catch (Saturday), so it is what it is, and I have to wait three more weeks."
TOP PROSPECT SIDELINED: Twins third base prospect Miguel Sano will have Tommy John surgery on his throwing arm and miss the season. Sano, 20, a slugger who is widely considered one of the best prospects in baseball, had been trying to rehabilitate a strained ulnar collateral ligament in his right elbow. He was hurt in October while playing winter ball in his native Dominican Republic.
DODGERS: Outfielder Matt Kemp tested his surgically repaired left ankle by running on the field and said he felt good. Kemp is not expected to be ready for the start of the season.
METS: Closer Bobby Parnell threw batting practice, facing batters for the first time since his 2013 season was cut short July 30 by a neck injury.
RANGERS: Shortstop Elvis Andrus has soreness in his right forearm and will be sidelined for at least a few days.