Hultzen to remain shut down 10 more days
Danny Hultzen, the Mariners top left-handed pitching prospect, will remain shut down for about 10 more days as he continues recovering from irritation in his left shoulder, general manager Jack Zduriencik said Tuesday.
Hultzen, 23, is 4-1 with a 2.20 ERA in five starts this season for Triple-A Tacoma, but has been shut down twice now with shoulder problems.
“We’re going to have Danny shut down for about 10 more days,” Zduriencik said. “He’ll start a throwing program. I’ve talked to trainers, doctors and pitching coaches. We’re going to make some adjustments to his routines. We’re going to look at a little bit of his mechanics. You never want to overhaul anybody, that’s dangerous with pitchers, but you might look at the programs he’s doing and try to make some alterations and see if that helps him.
“We’re prepared to do whatever it takes,” Zduriencik said. “Some of this is a process where you do one thing and see where that leads you and if it takes you to step two and step three. But we’re hoping when he starts throwing we’ll see positive results. What I’ve heard is the last couple days he’s felt pretty good.”
Zduriencik expects Hultzen to throw again this season, but is taking the cautious approach with the second player selected in the 2011 Draft.
“What we’ve been told is this isn’t something to get overly concerned about, but it is something we need to address,” Zduriencik said. “And we’re looking at a lot of different things with it. His strength and conditioning program, exercising program, how he throws between starts, we’ll look at all that.”
Zduriencik also said that Taijuan Walker, the club’s top right-handed pitching prospect, will have an innings limit this summer, though he declined to get into specifics. Walker has thrown 100 innings so far, 84 at Double-A Jackson and 16 in three starts at Tacoma, where he’s gone 2-0 with a 0.56 ERA in three starts.
“We have a target number for Taijuan,” Zduriencik said. “He’s a young kid and you have to be careful with him. We’ll do what is in Taijuan’s best interest because ultimately that’s in our best interest, too. We just need Taijuan to continue to pitch and we’ll see how it all plays out.”