Mariners prospect Danny Hultzen needs a trip to see Dr. James Andrews

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Mariners prospect Danny Hultzen was on the verge of the majors when shoulder problems derailed his season and now three months later he’s still hurting.

Jacob Thorpe of MLB.com reports that the former No. 2 overall pick will seek a second opinion from Dr. James Andrews after trying to throw in the Mariners’ instructional league led to a setback. And this quote from general manager Jack Zduriencik sounds awfully ominous:

[Team doctor] Ed [Khalfayan] saw him and quite frankly doesn’t like what he sees. He has every right to have a second opinion and Ed wants him to have a second opinion. We’ve been in touch with Dr. Andrews and we’re trying to work on getting him in there on Thursday and let them look at it, and make a decision at that time.

Compare that to a few months ago, when the Mariners insisted on using words like “minor” to describe his shoulder problems.

Ken Giles: ‘I’m actually enjoying the game more than I did for my entire tenure in Houston’

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Blue Jays closer Ken Giles hasn’t exactly turned things around since joining the Blue Jays on July 31, when the club sent embattled closer Roberto Osuna to the Astros. Giles posted a 4.99 ERA in 30 2/3 innings with the Astros, then put up a slightly less miserable 4.58 ERA in 17 2/3 innings with the Jays. Still, he’s much happier with the Jays than he was with the Astros, even after winning the World Series with them last year. He said to Rosie DiManno of the Toronto Star, “I’m actually enjoying the game more than I did for my entire tenure in Houston. It’s kind of weird to say that because I won a World Series with that team. But it’s like, I just felt trapped there. I didn’t feel like myself there. Overall, I felt out of place.”

Giles also said “the communication was lost” with the Astros and it was something that came easy with the Jays. He said, “When I came here, they stayed patient with me. I said hey, I want to work on this thing till I’m comfortable. All right. OK, I’m comfortable, let’s move on to this next thing. Pitching, you can’t just try to fix everything at once. For me, I had to take baby steps to get my groove back. The Jays allowed me to do that. Yeah, the team was out of contention, but it doesn’t matter. It’s still my career. I still have to prove myself. Them being so patient with me, understanding what I want to do, was very, very big.”

Giles, 28, has two more years of arbitration eligibility remaining. He has shown promise despite his overall mediocre numbers. In non-save situations this season (with both the Astros and Jays), he has a 9.12 ERA. But in save situations, his ERA is a pristine 0.38. Giles could be a closer the Jays find themselves leaning on as they attempt to get back into competitive shape. Since it sounds like Giles is quite enamored with Toronto and with the Blue Jays, a discussion about a contract extension certainly could be had.