Hultzen Shines; Miller Moves On

It was a funny sight in the Rainiers locker room, 45 minutes after Tacoma’s 2-0 win over Las Vegas on Thursday night.

Winning pitcher Danny Hultzen – fresh off an impressive six-inning stint in his first appearance since April 19 – playing the part of a bell hop, carrying Brad Miller‘s bags out to his car.

Miller was going to the big leagues, and Hultzen took a big step in that direction, himself.

Miller got the news from manager John Stearns immediately after going 2-for-4 with a homer, extending his hitting streak to 22 straight games.

Miller meteoric rise through the system (he was drafted in June 2011) brought to mind Kyle Seager‘s brief stay in Tacoma in 2011. Seager came up from Double-A in late June, played in just 12 games for Tacoma and hit .455, and was called up by a Seattle team struggling to find some offense.

Miller was promoted from AA on May 25th, played in 26 games and hit .356, and was called up by a Seattle team struggling to find some offense.

Personally, I would have preferred to wait five days – for my own entertainment, if nothing else. Miller’s 22-game hitting streak is just four away from tying the franchise record, set in 1965 (Rex Johnston) and tied in 1999 (Chad Akers). Miller’s streak is still alive if he gets sent down this year – it happened to Seager in 2011, and of course it could happen to Miller, too. For Miller’s sake (and the Mariners), here’s hoping it doesn’t happen.

As for Hultzen, he was terrific. Limited to 75-80 pitches by a pregame decree, Hultzen managed to make it through six economical, shutout innings of two-hit ball. He walked one and struck out six, threw 52 of his 78 pitches for strikes, had excellent fastball command, and baffled many hitters with his change-up.

It was a terrific outing for Hultzen, who missed a little more than two months with a rotator cuff strain. There is still plenty of time left for Hultzen to have a very successful 2013 season.

The victory was Tacoma’s fourth in a row, and second place Colorado Springs was swept (at home!) in a doubleheader by Tucson. Tacoma now has a four-game lead over both the Sky Sox and Salt Lake.

Tonight’s game is at 7:05, and there will be Friday Night Fireworks right afterwards. The broadcast airs on 850 AM, streams online, and is available on iPads and smart phones via the TuneIn app. Tacoma starts LHP James Paxton (4-5, 4.75) against Las Vegas RHP Giancarlo Alvarado (first appearance of season).

Links:

  • We start with the Rainiers game story from The News Tribune, which has reaction from Danny Hultzen after his excellent start.
  • Hanging out at Cheney Stadium on his day off, Mariners beat writer Ryan Divish stumbled into the Brad Miller call-up story.
  • Larry Stone has an article on Brad Miller’s Triple-A accomplishments and his connections with his fellow Mariners infielders.
  • Alex Carson of Prospect Insider caught up with Miller before yesterday’s game – and before the call-up. Some good stuff in this one.
  • John Sickels tries to answer the question, why wasn’t Miller hyped as a prospect?
  • Holy smokes – two Rainiers made this week’s Baseball America Prospect Hot Sheet.
  • The Mariners are counting on Dustin Ackley to produce some offense.
  • Just in (no link): Mariners activate Josh Kinney and outright him to Tacoma. Because of his MLB experience, he is allowed to become a free agent if he chooses. He needs to pitch; I wouldn’t be surprised to see him accept the assignment to Tacoma.
  • The Cubs-Mariners series is a battle between miserable franchises, Larry Stone writes.
  • Logan Bawcom‘s hometown newspaper did a feature on the Rainiers closer.
  • Here’s the story from The Springs on Tucson’s doubleheader sweep of the Sky Sox.
  • Fresno had a bullpen meltdown and lost to Salt Lake, 9-4. It was 4-4 after seven innings.
  • Grant Green homered twice and Sacramento defeated Reno, 7-4.
  • Taijuan Walker is going to the Futures Game – and so is his high school teammate, Matt Davidson of Reno.
  • Iowa beat Omaha yesterday, 4-2. The Storm Chasers threw some pitches clocked at 00 mph.
  • Hiram Burgos had an excellent rehabilitation start for Nashville.
  • Centralia’s Brock Peterson hit his PCL-leading 19th home run – and it was a walk-off shot in the tenth inning, giving Memphis a 5-3 win over Albuquerque.
  • Round Rock outfielder Joey Butler keeps hitting, and the Express beat New Orleans, 6-1.
  • We have our Triple-A All-Star Game broadcast team. Have fun, guys – I’ll be enjoying my three days of peace and solitude.

Heat wave starts today! Try telling that to the Las Vegas 51s; it was 110 degrees during their last homestand.

One Response to Hultzen Shines; Miller Moves On

  1. Matt says:

    Any word on who’s taking Miller’s spot?

%d bloggers like this: