SEATTLE -- It's not an easy task to unseat Felix Hernandez as the Mariners Pitcher of the Year, but Hisashi Iwakuma pulled it off Friday when he received that honor for 2013 from the Seattle Chapter of the Baseball Writers' Association of America.
Iwakuma was awarded a trophy from the BBWAA prior to Friday's opening game of the season-ending series with the A's, along with Kyle Seager (Player of the Year) and Raul Ibanez (Unsung Hero).
Ibanez also was honored as the Mariners' recipient of the Heart and Hustle Award from the Major League Baseball Players Alumni Association.
Seager earned Player of the Year honors for the second straight season, a tribute to his consistent offensive production, strong defensive play at third base and durability. Seager leads the teams in games played, having sat out just two of the team's 159 contests entering Friday night.
He's hitting .263 with 32 doubles, 22 home runs, 69 RBIs and a team-leading .340 on-base percentage. Ibanez provided some surprising production of his own at age 41, leading the team with 29 home runs while batting .248 with 65 RBIs and a team-leading slugging percentage (.499) and OPS (.811).
Paxton eager to compete for next year's rotation
SEATTLE -- Mariners rookie left-hander James Paxton said he's fine physically and was eager to make one last start on Sunday but totally understands the club's decision to shut him down early and let Erasmo Ramirez pitch the season finale against the A's.
"It's just one of those things. They decided I had enough innings this year and they just wanted me to go into the offseason feeling good and getting ready for next season," said Paxton, who went 3-0 with a 1.50 ERA in four starts as a September callup.
The 24-year-old threw 24 innings in his four starts, along with 145 2/3 innings in 28 games for Triple-A Tacoma, putting him one out shy of his preseason goal of throwing 170 frames.
"I feel pretty good about what I've done so far and am looking forward to working hard this offseason and coming into Spring Training being ready to fight for a job," said Paxton, who is ranked as the club's sixth-best prospect.
Ramirez, 5-2 with a 4.56 ERA in 13 games, was pulled after six-plus innings in his last outing in Anaheim on Sept. 20 after feeling tightness in his right groin muscle, but he feels fine and is ready to close out the season with one more start after missing the first three months with an elbow issue.
• The Mariners' radio broadcast of Sunday's 1:10 p.m. PT season finale with the A's will be on 770-AM (KTTH) due to a conflict with Seahawks football on 710 ESPN Seattle. The game will be televised as usual on ROOT Sports.
• Heading into Friday's action, the Mariners and Blue Jays were tied for the second-most home runs in the Majors at 183, trailing only Baltimore's 209. The A's were fourth at 182.