By Robin Dich, Sports Radio KJR
Before this past season, Danny Hultzen has never missed a start due to injury, going all the way back to high school. Times have been frustrating for Hultzen, expectations included him being in the starting rotation for the M’s by this time. It may be a little disappointing for the fans; however Hultzen has learned from this experience.
“It’s been pretty frustrating for me, like I said it’s been a tough process, something I’ve never gone through. You know what? It’s given me a new perspective on the game actually. Kind of teaches you to never take being out there for granted,” said Hultzen.
Started from just some shoulder stiffness to the point where Hultzen could barely get the ball over the plate to the catcher. It was classified as a strain in the rotator cuff. He has missed time for two parts of the season due to this injury. After a month of rest and rehab in Arizona, then same story happens again.
“That’s what’s so frustrating is that I was working so hard with the trainers, the trainers were doing a great job. I was feeling good and throwing the ball well. It was the same thing, arm was stiff after the start in Tacoma,” explained Hultzen.
This year he has gone 4-1, with a 2.20 ERA, but he has only started five games for Tacoma. When he has been out there he has been very effective, but the question is how do the Mariners keep him healthy? Rumor has it they want to change his mechanics to relieve some of the stress off his shoulder.
“There are some things I need to change and even though I was throwing the ball well, feeling good. I was doing things that were putting a lot of stress on my arm. There are obviously things I need to change.
Don’t worry fans, it isn’t the change that will set him back or change the type of pitcher he is. The little things that he can clean up in his mechanics will do wonders for his shoulder. One of those mechanics is stepping across his body and needing to start stepping forward.
Mitch didn’t get a real answer out of Danny Hultzen on his next start in Tacoma, but reports show he can be back within two weeks this according to RotoWorld.
“I have no idea right now. It’s a process, we got to take it step by step. Got to see how I feel after I start throwing in the bullpen… Hopefully it’s soon. I’m feeling really really good and optimistic,” said Hultzen.
He went on to say he will be back this season and this was not close to a season ending injury. If he can get back soon, Mariner fans might see him sometime in August with the Major League ballclub.
Here is the audio to the interview: