Just about everyone is up in arms about getting Danny Hultzen some Major League experience. Forget the fact that he’s only 12 starts into his professional career. Forget the fact that at this time last year he was still in college. We’ve got to get him up here NOW!
To which, I reply, Why?
Why is it so necessary to get him up here RIGHT NOW? You know he’s going to be up here eventually! What’s the harm in letting him season a little longer?
Some might say that he has done all he can with the Double-A talent level; it’s time to see what he does against superior opponents. Well, then put him in Tacoma! Why does everyone have a hard-on for fast-rising minor league talent bypassing the Triple-A level? It’s called Triple-A for a reason, obviously the talent level is going to be a step up from Double-A. Why not promote Hultzen to Tacoma and keep him there for a while?
Honestly, there’s no downside. Unless our Major League rotation suffers a bunch of injuries all at once, I don’t see the need. The Mariners aren’t going anywhere this year. Promoting Hultzen before he’s ready can only do more harm than good. If he comes up here and struggles, then he will likely be sent back down anyway, thereby disrupting his confidence. If he comes up here and succeeds, so what? It’s not like it’s going to propel us to the playoffs!
For as shaky as our rotation has been this year, it’s still probably the best we have right now. Felix and Vargas are locked in. Millwood, if he remains healthy, will remain entrenched. The team still wants to get a better look at Noesi before dropping him into the long relief role he appears destined for. The only guy on thin ice right now is Beavan, and we’ve got a guy in Erasmo Ramirez down in Tacoma who is ready for the jump to the Majors right now.
In fact, I can’t imagine Ramirez is our only alternative. I think the team would be better suited in starting Iwakuma over Hultzen right now. Or even stretching out Charlie Furbush again. Hell, we’ve even got another guy in Andrew Carraway (who has already been promoted from Double-A to Triple-A this season) who probably deserves a look.
Hultzen needs, minimum, two months in Tacoma. I don’t want to see him up in Seattle after three amazing starts in a Rainiers uniform. I want to see him up here in August or September! He will deserve to get a promotion eventually, as a reward for an amazing first minor league season; but he doesn’t deserve it now.
Obviously, things could change. Vargas and Millwood could be traded. Guys could go down with injury. Guys could underperform to such a degree that it would be painful to run them out there every five days to watch them get shelled. In that instance, if we’re down so many starters that we NEED a guy like Hultzen to come up here and try to salvage some dignity for this team, then fine. But, to bring him up for no good God damned reason, just because he’s a sexy Second Overall Draft Pick who the fans would like to see sooner rather than later … it doesn’t make any sense.
If things were different, if this team were on the verge of sneaking into the Wild Card race, then fine. But, this team is still pretty bad. And subjecting Hultzen to this kind of mediocrity won’t do him a bit of good.