Mariners prized pitching prospect Danny Hultzen suffered a mild hip flexor strain during conditioning drills a few days ago. He has been scratched from today’s appearance.
“It wasn’t like a sudden thing, which I guess is good, because nothing serious happened,” he said “We were running and after it got kind of sore. The next day it was really sore.”
It’s not considered to be serious.
“I’m not worried about it,” Hultzen said.
There isn’t much to worry about if he does what the Mariners medical staff tells him to do.
“It’s just mild,” Griffin said. “We are just being overly cautious. It’s on his right leg which is a good thing. If it was on his left leg, he’d have to be able to push off. But because it’s on his right leg it should make the recovery a little quicker.”
The Mariners won’t give an exact timetable for his return. But the hope is that Hultzen will be able to return to action in about a week.
“After the next three or four days, we’ll have a better idea,” trainer Rick Griffin said.
The injury isn’t serious, but if not properly treated, it could be something that got worse.
“With younger players, sometimes they think it’s OK to not come in and get treated and all of the sudden they realize they have to pitch in a game,” Griffin said. “We have to be smart sometimes for them and just let them know the best thing is to get this quieted down.”
Hultzen wasn’t one of those foolish younger players. As much as he wants to make the team, he didn’t try to be a hero.
“I did that a little bit in college,” he said. ‘There was a time where my arm was a little sore and then it got really sore. I learned that it’s obviously a lot dumber just to go through it, then knock it out of the way. Something like this, doing something preventative is a lot easier then risk turning it into a serious injury. In the long run, this is the smart decision.”
Does this hinder Hultzen in making the starting rotation? Perhaps. But because spring training is so long, he will still have a chance to make a push for a spot.
Realistically, Hultzen and the rest of the Fab Four or Fastball Four (I’m going with that over the Big 3) – Taijuan Walker, James Paxton and Brandon Maurer — are all kind of longshots at making the rotation. Erasmo Ramirez, Blake Beavan, Jon Garland and perhaps even Jeremy Bonderman have the edge because of their experience.
Obviously, all four pitching prospects are ridiculously talented. But only Hultzen has pitched above Double A, and he struggled there last season. While it would be fun to see those guys pitching in a Mariners uniform,there is really no reason to rush them into a situation that might do more good than harm.