Danny Hultzen, Taijuan Walker do not disappoint
Feb 27, 2013, 4:02 PM | Updated: 4:58 pm
By Shannon Drayer
A quick update on what I saw in Goodyear today. I stayed through the fifth inning and in that small snapshot I saw a lot of what I had been hearing about this team while back in Seattle.
There was offense. Most provided by Carlos Peguero, who hit two home runs, the second of which was particularly impressive as it was a breaking pitch, and not a bad one, on a 1-2 count that he hit over the right-field fence.
It was good to see Kendrys Morales get two hits. It was not good to see him on the bases. He does not run well. Not quite Jesus Montero, who I have yet to see, but not good. I am a little bit concerned about the number of non-runners on the team and broached the subject of runs added with Eric Wedge on “The Cactus League Report” on Monday. He pointed out that they had added the past two years and without putting a number on it for this year, he expected to add again, significantly. I am not sure where this is going to come from.
Danny Hultzen walked two batters and allowed one hit over two innings of work Wednesday. (AP)
For now I am happy with offense of any sort and there has been a good amount of it so far this spring. As for the pitching, Danny Hultzen and Taijuan Walker didn’t disappoint.
Hultzen started the game and was a bit shaky as he walked two in the first but he got out of a bases loaded jam with a strikeout to end the inning. He didn’t get wild by any means and wasn’t too far off. The command is what he has got to master, however. When Hultzen is right he doesn’t walk guys.
After the game he admitted that he probably needed to settle down in the first inning.
“I think I was trying to do a little too much,” he said. “I was trying to throw the ball a little too hard and that took me out of my mechanics a little bit, but once I calmed down a little bit I didn’t think about trying to throw it too hard or too perfect, it worked a lot better.”
His second inning was much better. Three up, three down. He finished his two innings with two walks and four strikeouts. It will be interesting to watch his next start to see if he can take command at the very beginning.
Walker was up next and for that I headed down to the scouts’ seats behind home plate to get a closer look and a peak at the radar guns.
Walker is going to be hard to hold down. Just 20 years old with two full seasons of professional ball under his belt and he looks like he is knocking on the door. He has said it is his goal to make the club out of spring training. He most likely is going to force the Mariners to make a very tough decision some point this spring.
Today he allowed no hits, walked one and struck out two in two innings. His first pitch came in at 97 mph against Michael Bourn. He was most impressive against his next hitter, Lou Marson. He started him out with fastballs at 95-97 and then with two strikes on him threw two straight curves that came in at 76 and 77 but both missed, not by much.
I was impressed that Walker tried to use the curve as a put-away pitch in this situation. It turns out it wasn’t the spike curve that he has been working on (he ripped a fingernail and was not able to get the spike grip) but the curve he normally throws. When he wasn’t able to throw it for strike three he came back with a 98-mph fastball on the corner for the strikeout. Nasty.
That is it for today. Tomorrow Felix throws to live hitters for the first time this spring and I will have an update from that for you before noon.