Danny Hultzen just can’t stay healthy.
Now trying to resurrect his career as a reliever after injuries repeatedly kept the former No. 2 overall pick from living up to his potential with the Mariners, the left-hander had shoulder soreness Saturday.
Mariners manager Scott Servais told Bob Dutton of the Tacoma News Tribune that Hultzen is “in a holding pattern right now” and an unnamed team official described his status as “not good.”
Hultzen ranked among Baseball America’s top 30 prospects in 2012 and 2013, but he’s thrown a grand total of just eight innings since 2014 and has yet to reach the majors at age 26.
Mariners starter Félix Hernández will come off of the disabled list to make his final start of 2018 on Wednesday against the Athletics, MLB.com’s Greg Johns reports. Hernández has been on the disabled list since September 8 with a right hamstring strain.
Hernández, 32, has endured the worst season of his 14-year career. He’s 8-13 with a 5.46 ERA and a 121/57 K/BB ratio over 151 2/3 innings. Hernández wants the opportunity to finish 2018 on a good note. He said, “I feel good. No problems. It’s 100 percent. I just want to finish strong and show them I can still pitch. It wasn’t a big injury. They just wanted to give me some rest.”
Hernández is under contract for one more year at $27 million. He has been the face of the franchise for the last decade, but if he doesn’t show he’s capable of beating major league hitters by the end of spring training next year, the Mariners may not be able to afford to give him a spot in the starting rotation. Despite a second-half slide, the Mariners were competitive in the AL West this year, entering the All-Star break 58-39, five games out of first place. With some roster fine-tuning, the Mariners could give the Astros and Athletics a run for their money. Hernández’s involvement with that effort remains to be seen.