Mariners’ prospect Hultzen pitches in simulated game, will play in Arizona Fall League
Seattle Times staff reporter
Pitcher Danny Hultzen, who has started just five games at Class AAA Tacoma because of a shoulder injury, threw a simulated game Tuesday in Tacoma and will pitch in the Arizona Fall League.
Hultzen is among seven players from the organization selected for the six-week Arizona Fall League, which is regarded as a “finishing school” for top prospects.
Hultzen threw the simulated game in front of Mariners’ minor-league pitching coordinator Rick Waits. General manager Jack Zduriencik said Waits was “very happy and pleased with what he saw” and added that Hultzen “felt really good with what he did.”
“It’s good steps for Danny and just positive that he pitched as well and felt as well as he did,” Zduriencik said.
Zduriencik said he’d like to get Hultzen on the mound in Tacoma for a couple of innings before the season ends, but said the club needs to see how Hultzen responds from his simulated game first.
Zduriencik said Hultzen was able to tweak some of his delivery issues while rehabbing.
“The fact that he’s going to the fall league to pitch is a step in the right direction to get him to where he’s going to be ready for spring training and be ready to come in and compete in spring training,” Zduriencik said.
Hultzen, the No. 2 pick in the 2011 draft, hasn’t pitched since June 27 because of shoulder problems. In his five starts at Class AAA, he was 4-1 with a 2.20 earned-run average. He pitched well enough in spring training to look like he might make the big-league roster but he suffered a minor hip injury.
Other players selected for the Fall League: pitchers Brandon Maurer, Dominic Leone, Carson Smith; outfielder Stefen Romero; and infielders Patrick Kivlehan and Chris Taylor.
• Wedge said catcher Mike Zunino will catch five innings at Class AAA Tacoma on Tuesday and be used as a DH Wednesday. Wedge said Zunino, recovering from a broken hand, will be in Tacoma for the rest of the week before the team evaluates his possible return.