When players broke camp for the 2015 season, Danny Hultzen was left behind in Arizona to participate in extended spring training.
The Mariners’ decision was based on caution.
After spending all of the 2014 season, recovering and rehabbing from reconstructive shoulder surgery to repair damage the labrum, rotator cuff and capsule, Hultzen is finally healthy and the organization wants him to stay that way. So they’ve decided to pitch him in the warm weather of Arizona and the controlled environment of extended spring training for at least the first month of the season.
“I just think you have to be cautious with him,” general manager Jack Zduriencik said. “He had a significant surgery and everyone as very happy with what we saw in spring training. He’s progressing nicely, but we have a plan in place, he knows what it is. I think you just have to let him get his arm strength built up before you send him out to compete on a full-season club.”
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It’s impossible to control the environment in a minor league game. And Hultzen’s ultra-competitive nature could work against him.
“Once the adrenaline gets going, it’s a little different setting,” Zduriencik said. “What we need for him to do was pitch, rest, pitch, rest, pitch, rest and then get him to a point to where he’s ready to roll. All the arrows are pointing in the right direction and he feels really good. It’s just controlling it a little bit so when he’s ready to let it go, then you let him go.”
There is no exact timetable for when Hultzen will join full-season club.
“I think by the beginning of May he’ll probably be ready to break to join one of the clubs,” Zduriencik said. “More than likely we will send him to AA and let him get his feet under him and get some games under and then he could end up in Tacoma. We’ll see.”
Could Zduriencik see Hultzen helping the big league team?
“No matter how you dice it, you have to be in a position where he’s not overexposed” Zduriencik said. “Will he pitch this year in the big leagues? There’s a chance depending on how he progresses. Whether he does or doesn’t, there’s till going to be an innings limit. That’s in his best interest”
Zduriencik wouldn’t share what that limit would be for Hultzen.
Class AAA Tacoma
After losing four straight games by one run, the Rainiers prevailed 3-1 in 11 innings yesterday to close out their road trip. Jesus Montero went 3-for-5 in the game. Sam Gaviglio had a solid start, going six innings and giving up one run on two hits with two walks and six strikeouts. Here’s Mike Curto’s daily blog. The Rainiers have their home opener tonight at Cheney Stadium.
Video of Montero’s single from the other day
From the report: Montero is 1 of 3 PCL player to record a hit in each of the first 8 games of the season, batting .394 (13×33) with 7 runs scored, 3 doubles, 1 home run, 4 RBI and 2 walks. 3B Carlos Rivero has hit safely in 5 of 8 games he has appeared this season with 4 multi-hit contests, batting .393 (11×28) with 8 runs scored, 1 double, 2 home runs, 7 RBI, and 4 walks. OF Franklin Gutierrez has hit safely in 5 of 6 game he has appeared with 4 multi-hit games, batting .409 (9×22) with 4 runs scored, 4 doubles, 1 home run, 6 RBI and 3 walks. INF After going 0-for-4 in his first game of the season
Game notes: GameNotes_041715
Class AA Jackson
The Generals split a doubleheader with Mississippi. They lost game one, 6-4, giving up 15 hits in defeat. Jordy Lara had two hits and Steve Baron drove in three runs. Lefty Scott DeCecco was roughed up for five runs on 12 hits in 5 1/3 innings pitched. In game two, Gabby Guerrero belted a two-run homer in a three-run sixth inning for a 5-4 win. Jabary Henry also homered.
Video of Baron’s three-run double in game one
Video of Guerrero’s two-run homer
From the report: OF Dario Pizzano has hit safely in 3 of 4 games he has appeared, batting .300 (3×10) with 1 RBI, 2 walks and 1 stolen base.
Game notes: 04_17_15 Game Notes vs MIS
Class A Bakersfield
The Blaze pitchers gave up 17 hits in a 10-5 loss to San Jose. Starter Dan Altavilla lasted just one inning, giving up three runs (two earned) on four hits with a walk and two strikeouts. Tyler Marlette had three hits and Burt Reynolds drove in two runs.
Video of Reynolds of single.
From the report: RHP Edwin Diaz (1-0, 0.00) has allowed only 4 hits, while walking 1 and striking out 16 in 11.0 scoreless innings over his first 2 starts with Bakersfield in 2015. Dating back to his final start last season on Aug. 29 at Quad Cities (w/Clinton), Diaz has not allowed a run in his last 16.0 innings (4 H, 4 BB, 25 K). C Tyler Marlette has hit safely in 5 of 6 games he has appeared this season, batting .450 (9×20) with 7 runs scored, 2 home runs, 5 RBI, 1 stolen base and 1 HBP. Among California League leaders, Marlette ranks 1st in the league in on-base percentage (.500), 2nd in slugging percentage (.750) and 3rd in average (.450).
Class A Clinton
Estarlyn Morales’ RBI double in the top of the 13th inning proved to be the difference in a 7-6 extra innings win over Kane County. Clinton tied the game in the top of the ninth on Joe DeCarlo’s solo homer. It was his second homer of the game and he finished with three hits.
Video of DeCarlo’s homer
From the report: Dating back to Aug. 13, 2014, RH Peter Miller has not allowed a run over his last 13.0 innings (9 G). During this stretch, he has limited opponents to a .125 average (5×40) with 6 walks and 13 strikeouts. Dating back to June 23, 2014, LH Ryan Horstman has tossed 11.0 conesecutive scoreless innings (4 BB, 12 K). C Wayne Taylor has hit safely in 4 of 6 games he has appeared this season, batting .286 (6×21) with 1 run scored, 1 double, 4 RBI and 2 walks.