The Seattle Mariners go-slow plan with left-handed pitcher Danny Hultzen,a former first round pick, isn’t likely to change any time soon in his recovery from major shoulder surgery.
Hultzen worked 31/3 innings for Double-A Jackson on May 1, and after skipping a cycle is tentatively scheduled to pitch again May 11 for the Generals against Biloxi.
“I still want to be cautious,” Mariners general manager Jack Zduriencik said. “We’re not going to rush him. We’re not going to push him. He won’t go more than four innings for a little bit.
“We may even decide to have him only go three (innings) a couple of times just to get him into a routine on the mound.”
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Hultzen’s outing on May 1 was his first in a real game since pitching two innings on Sept. 1, 2013 for Triple-A Tacoma. He underwent surgery a month later.
“That was a big test,” Zduriencik said. “He had to evaluate himself in a different environment from when he was throwing against instructional league kids or minor leaguers in spring training.”
Hultzen, 25, was the second overall pick in the 2011 draft and was 14-8 with a 2.82 ERA in 32 minor league starts before undergoing surgery. But he has pitched just 39 innings since Sept. 3, 2012.
“When he feels good,” Zduriencik said, “he may be able to take it and run with it for a while. We’re not pushing it. We’re not trying to amp it up. There’s no time frame on it. What happens, happens.”
The Mariners’ goal all along has been to get Hultzen as healthy as possible for 2016 — in large part because he will be out of options. That means he can’t be sent back to the minors without clearing waivers.
It was 34 years ago Friday — May 8, 1981 — that Tom Paciorek hit the first of his walk-off homers on successive nights that powered the Mariners to victories over the New York Yankees at the Kingdome.
Paciorek’s first walk-off winner came while leading off the ninth inning against Rudy May and produced a 3-2 victory.
One night later, he hit a three-run shot with two outs against Ron Davis in a 6-5 victory in front of a crowd of 51,903 on Bat Night.
The Angels’ successive walk-off victories Tuesday and Wednesday marked the first time they accomplished that since May 29-30, 2010 — yep, against the Mariners. … Only two of the Mariners’ 28 games have been decided by more than three runs. Both were losses started by Taijuan Walker. ... The Mariners have suffered five walk-off losses, which is tied with Pittsburgh for the most in the majors.
The Mariners open a nine-game homestand at 7:10 p.m. Friday with a tough assignment in the first of three weekend games against Oakland at Safeco Field: A’s ace Sonny Gray (4-0, 1.67 ERA). Right-hander Walker (1-3, 8.74) will start for the Mariners.