The Mariners just provided word that left-hander Danny Hultzen, one of their heralded young pitching prospects, has a mild right hip flexor strain. That’s why he was scratched from today’s scheduled appearance against the Rockies. The early word is that Hultzen could miss about a week.
It doesn’t appear to be too serious, but any injury is of some concern, obviously. Up until this point, the Mariners were having a very healthy camp. Hultzen, the No. 2 overall pick in the 2011 draft, has looked very good in his two appearances (one start). In three innings, he has allowed just one hit, walked two, and struck out six.
I rated him as a darkhorse to claim a rotation spot, but it was a longshot. It’s too early to say how this setback might affect those chances, but it can’t help. In his first professional season in 2012, the 23-year-old Hultzen dominated in Double-A (1.19 ERA in 13 starts, with 79 strikeouts and 32 walks in 71.1 innings). But he struggled with his command after a promotion to Triple-A Tacoma. In 12 starts spanning 48.2 innings, Hultzen walked 43 (with 57 strikeouts) and had a 5.92 ERA.