It looks as though general manager Jack Zduriencik will get to put that one-year contract extension to use next season.
On Tuesday, the Seattle Times reported that Zduriencik would be back next season. There had been some thought that the Mariners’ disappointing 2013 season would lead to the firing of Zduriencik.
However, president Chuck Armstrong told the Times that Zduriencik would be back for the 2014 season.
Randy Adamack, team vice president of communications, later confirmed what Armstrong had told the Times – that Zduriencik would be back next season.
It’s a little surprising considering the Mariners’ struggles this season. They already have lost 89 games – two more than they lost last season. This will be their fourth straight losing season with Zduriencik as general manager. His only winning season with the Mariners came in 2009, his first year with the team, when Seattle had an 85-77 record.
On Aug. 20, The News Tribune reported that Zduriencik had received a one-year extension for the 2014 season during the offseason from the Mariners. Before that, it was thought that he was in the final year of a two-year extension.
As usual, the Mariners will not comment further on Zduriencik’s status, citing organizational policy against publicly discussing contract status.
While Zduriencik seems likely to return for next season, there was no word on manager Eric Wedge, who is in the final year of his contract.
HULTZEN TO SEE ANDREWS
The 2013 season has been lost for Danny Hultzen and the Mariners.
Zduriencik announced Tuesday afternoon at Safeco Field that the club’s prized pitching prospect will head to Birmingham, Ala., to see noted orthopedic surgeon Dr. James Andrews for a second opinion on his ailing throwing shoulder.
Hultzen felt discomfort in the shoulder while throwing in the Arizona instructional league. He was examined then by team physician Dr. Edward Khalfayan.
“Ed saw him, and quite frankly he doesn’t like what he sees,” Zduriencik said. “He saw some damage that he was unhappy with. It’s not the rotator cuff. It’s the tendon area, labrum area.”
Hultzen wanted to seek a second opinion, a move favored by Dr. Khalfayan. The Mariners will wait to hear about Andrews’ exam before making decisions.
Hultzen was shut down twice this season because of shoulder discomfort. Both times it was labeled as a rotator cuff strain caused by faulty pitching mechanics.
The Mariners re-examined his mechanics and made changes during his most recent recovery and throwing program.
The issue was thought to be fixed. Hultzen had worked his way to pitching off the mound by the end of the Triple-A Rainiers’ season, and he was slated to pitch in the Arizona Fall League to make up for some of his lost innings this season.
That plan was scratched after the recent injury issue.
Zduriencik didn’t mention surgery, but it seems to be a strong possibility.
“Until we get the second opinion and the doctors put their heads together, we don’t know exactly what this is,” Zduriencik said.
Hultzen was drafted second overall in 2011 out of the University of Virginia. He started six games and made one two-inning relief appearance for Tacoma this season, posting a 4-1 record with a 2.05 ERA. He struck out 34 batters in 302/3 innings. Four of the starts came in April before the first bout of shoulder pain.
In the final game of the series, at 7:10 p.m. Wednesday, right-hander Hisashi Iwakuma (13-6, 2.76 ERA) will make his final start of the season for the Mariners. The Royals will go with right-hander Ervin Santana (9-9, 3.16 ERA). The game will be broadcast on Root Sports and 710-AM.Ryan Divish: 253-597-8483 email@example.com blog.thenewstribune.com/mariners @RyanDivish