Hultzen, who has been shut down indefinitely because of shoulder stiffness, is 'exploring all of his options,' Mariners manager Scott Servais said Thursday.
PEORIA, Ariz. — Pitcher Danny Hultzen, who has been shut down indefinitely because of shoulder stiffness, is “exploring all of his options,” Mariners manager Scott Servais said Thursday.
“I think he’s in a tough spot,’’ Servais said. “He’s gone through so much. I really feel for him, knowing he’s a very talented guy. The cards the game deals you every once in a while are not always fair. Hopefully he kind of makes a decision where he’s at and then can move forward. Right now, he’s just trying to weigh all his options and see what he wants to do.”
Hultzen, 26, has battled to come back from major shoulder surgery in 2013. He missed the 2014 season and pitched just eight innings at Double-A last year. He was the No. 2 overall pick in the 2011 draft.
“It’s just a setback,’’ Hultzen said. “It’s obviously super-frustrating, because I’ve been doing everything I can. That’s the way I’m looking at it. I know I’m doing everything I can, and whatever happens is going to happen. I’m not going to look back and say I wish I’d done something more, because I know I’m doing everything I can.”
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Hultzen threw a live batting practice this week and felt fine. But afterward he said: “It was painful, and really, really weak. Maybe I was just doing too much. It’s hard to pinpoint what exactly happened. I definitely didn’t feel a pop or anything like that. That didn’t happen, which is good.”
Hultzen said he is waiting for his inflammation to decrease and hopes to resume his throwing program when it does.
“I think that’s the plan,’’ he said. “I’ve got to pass the tests and all that stuff, but it’s already getting better, so I’m feeling OK about it.”
One more tuneup for Furbush
Left-hander Charlie Furbush, who missed the second half of last season because of left-biceps tendinitis and a slight rotator-cuff tear, will throw one more live BP session before appearing in a Cactus League game. The date hasn’t been determined, “but I’m guessing it’s going to be in the next couple days,’’ Servais said.
Servais said he’d generally like for relievers have six or seven stints during spring training.
“He’s been out a couple of times, but I do want to see him in games, coming off a pretty significant injury last year,’’ he said. “The ball’s coming out of his hand great. It’s just not maybe bouncing back as quick yet, which is very understandable. Our training people are not worried about it at all.”
Romero back in the outfield
Stefen Romero is playing left field in Thursday’s game against the Cubs and might get some time soon at first base. In his first appearance of the spring at first, he was hit on the knee by a line drive.
Romero is 6 for 11 this spring. Asked about what position Romero might settle upon in the future, Servais replied, “I think his future is the right-handed bat, and how that fits on a club. Whether that’s left field, right field, first base, it does give you more options; it only helps him. I really like the way he’s swung the bat. Obviously, he’s had a good camp so far, good at-bats yesterday, and he’ll continue to get plenty of playing time.”
Romero, 27, has just a .192 average in 85 major-league games in 2014-15, and the Mariners aren’t in a position to let him develop in the major leagues.
“You wish you had time for everybody to develop,’’ Servais said. “I think the way we’re built this year, we want to compete. We feel good about our club, so it’s who’s going to be able to help us win on a daily basis, in whatever role you’re in. Whether that’s pinch-hitting late, starting against left-handed pitching, you got to produce.
“This is the get-em-out league or the production league. The other league is on the minor-league side. That’s the developmental league. That’s not really the league we’re in right now.’’
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— The Mariners announced they have reached a multiyear contract extension with their flagship radio station, 710 ESPN. The length of the new contract was not announced, but is believed to be similar to their previous deal, which totaled five years with options involved. The extension with Bonneville Seattle Media Group takes effect in 2017. The Mariners have been on Bonneville in 25 of their first 39 years, rejoining them in 2009 after a stint on KOMO.