The news Tuesday night was ominous. Danny Hultzen had been scratched from his scheduled start for the Tacoma Rainiers because he could not get loose prior to the game. Hultzen spent the afternoon being seen by team doctors and a specialist and the report given to Mariners general manager Jack Zduriencik was encouraging.
"We're considering it a minor setback. I think it is just an aggravation of what he had," Zduriencik said, referring to the rotator strain and tendinitis that shut Hultzen down just four games into the season. "Everything is structurally fine, it is not an issue that needs surgery, it's nothing that is overly alarming. It is just a minor setback from where he was at."
Zduriencik said they will meet to find out why this has happened again and most likely make adjustments to Hultzen's rehab program after letting the inflammation settle down. He anticipates that Hultzen will be shut down for 10-14 days before he resumes rehab.
"It is a strain that he has in there that is being irritated, so we have just got to figure out what exactly is causing the irritation," Zduriencik said. "I think the doctors have an idea and the rehab program we put him on will address that."
Zduriencik did not rule out Hultzen's delivery as possibly being part of the problem, saying that it has been discussed.
"Everybody's body is structured a little different and I think in this particular case there may be some weakness in there that he needs to specifically strengthen," he said.
Zduriencik said that they would take things cautiously with Hultzen and that he believed we will see him back on a mound this season.
"We felt very comfortable he was ready to pitch and he thought he was ready to pitch when we sent him to Tacoma and I think the last outing proves that. But he has got an irritation in there and we have to figure out why," he said.