Originally posted on NorthWest Sports Beat  |  Last updated 8/23/13
Japanese Superstar The Seattle Mariners have proven to be the most creative and adept organization in Major League Baseball when it comes to tapping the wellspring of Japanese talent. Ichiro Suzuki, of course, headlines that source, but the Mariners have also struck gold over the years with closer Kazuhiro Sasaki, middle reliever Shigetoshi Hasegawa, catcher Kenji Johjima and who could forget the dancing fan favorite Munenori Kawasaki. Following a tentative start last year, Hisashi Iwakuma is well on his way to becoming a force with the Mariners alongside these previous four Japanese stars. Admittedly, the Mariners have also had some poor results with other Japanese pitching experiments in Mac Suzuki and Masao Kida, but Iwakuma’s circumstances and qualities elevate him over these others when it comes to establishing his success in North America. He came to MLB as an older pitcher who had already experienced success in the ichigun (Japanese major leagues) just like Hasegawa and Sasa...
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