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Heredia, Phelps on track for Spring Training

MLB.com @gregjohnsmlb

SEATTLE -- Mariners outfielder Guillermo Heredia and reliever David Phelps, who both underwent surgeries last fall, are progressing as expected and should be ready for action around the start of Mariners camp next month, according to Dr. Lorena Martin, the club's new director of high performance.

Phelps had surgery to remove bone spurs in his right elbow in late September, but he has begun his offseason throwing program on schedule.

SEATTLE -- Mariners outfielder Guillermo Heredia and reliever David Phelps, who both underwent surgeries last fall, are progressing as expected and should be ready for action around the start of Mariners camp next month, according to Dr. Lorena Martin, the club's new director of high performance.

Phelps had surgery to remove bone spurs in his right elbow in late September, but he has begun his offseason throwing program on schedule.

Heredia had right shoulder surgery in early October to repair a torn labrum and he may not be fully ready for the start of camp, but Martin said she spent time with the 27-year-old while he was working out in Miami recently.

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"He's looking very strong and progressing as expected," Martin said at Thursday's pre-Spring Training media luncheon at Safeco Field. "Right now, I'm very hopeful they'll be healthy in time [for camp], and if not, very close to it."

The one Mariner who won't be ready this spring is veteran right-hander Hisashi Iwakuma, who underwent surgery on his right shoulder in late September and has just begun light throwing. He signed a Minor League deal to remain with the club, but Iwakuma isn't expected to be healthy enough to compete until 2-3 months into the season at the earliest.

General manager Jerry Dipoto said he's not certain if Iwakuma will be able to pitch at the Major League level this season, but Dipoto expects him to remain in the organization regardless.

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"Hisashi Iwakuma has an unbelievable feel for pitching and is a tremendous human being," Dipoto said. "Kuma will be a guy who spends whatever the rest of his baseball life is -- whether that's as a Major League pitcher until he's 70 or a pitching coach or consultant -- I believe he'll do that as a Seattle Mariner. He's a tremendous guy.

"Whether or not he's going to contribute this year as a pitcher is still a wild card. We just don't know. Obviously, he just underwent a surgery and he is an older guy. We're going to have to see how he adapts. He's going into a throwing program, but we probably won't even see him up on a mound until we're close to leaving for Seattle [to start the regular season]."

Greg Johns has covered the Mariners since 1997, and for MLB.com since 2011. Follow him on Twitter @GregJohnsMLB.

Seattle Mariners, Guillermo Heredia, David Phelps