The news is not good for top Mariners pitching prospect Danny Hultzen, who was operated on today in Pensacola, Fla. by Dr. James Andrews to have a partially torn rotator cuff repaired as well as to clean out his damaged labrum and do an additional fix on the shoulder capsule.
“This is very unfortunate for Danny and his family, but we have nothing but high hopes for a good recovery and rehab,” Mariners general manager Jack Zduriencik said in a release. “Danny is a tireless worker and will do everything he can to get back on the mound to start competing again.’’
The Mariners have yet to put a timetable on Hultzen’s recovery, but it’s safe to assume he’ll miss some, if not all of, the 2014 season.
Hultzen, 23, the No. 2 overall pick in the 2011 draft, faces a long and arduous recovery. And not all pitchers make it back from rotator cuff surgery, which can claim more pitching arms than the better known “Tommy John” ligament transplant surgery.
For now, Hultzen will likely be shut down from all physical activity for three months waiting to heal from the operation. Then, generally, it could take six to eight months from now before he can stop aching enough to resume a throwing program.
Full recovery can take a year or longer, depending on the pitcher.
Again, every arm is different and there is no exact timeframe here, which is why the Mariners are wise not to give one.
But this is a serious blow indeed for Hultzen. Counting on him to any extent in 2014 right now would be pointless.