Prospect Hultzen scratched after 'minor setback'

Prospect Hultzen scratched after 'minor setback'

Prospect Hultzen scratched after 'minor setback'

ARLINGTON -- Left-hander Danny Hultzen, the Mariners' first-round Draft pick in 2011, was scratched from his scheduled start shortly before Tuesday's game for Triple-A Tacoma, but general manager Jack Zduriencik said Wednesday the issue isn't believed to be serious.

Hultzen had made one strong start after spending two months on the disabled list with a strained left shoulder, but felt some irritation in the area again prior to Tuesday's game when he couldn't get loose.

Hultzen met with Mariners doctors on Wednesday and Zduriencik said the news was positive.

"We're considering it a minor setback," Zduriencik said. "I think it's just an aggravation of what he's had. What we're going to do is look at some adjustments to his rehab program. We'll quiet it down for probably 10-14 days where we'll back him off and get him back on the rehab program. Everything is structurally fine. He just has this irritation that has flared up.

"We are just going to look at some alternatives on how to address this, but it's not as issue that needs surgery. It's nothing that is overly alarming. It's just a minor setback from where he was at."

Hultzen is 4-1 with a 2.20 ERA in five starts this season. Zduriencik said he expects he'll definitely return to pitch this season.

"Oh yeah," Zduriencik said. "But because of who Danny is, and what we have invested in him, the quality of guy we think he's going to be, I think this is the best thing to do. We'd rather be a day late than a day early on this one."

Greg Johns is a reporter for Follow him on Twitter @GregJohnsMLB as well as his Mariners Musings blog. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.