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Danny Hultzen's AAA Debut Goes Not Well

We waited for weeks to see Danny Hultzen promoted and his debut at a higher level might make us wish for the “Good ol’ days” of AA. Hultzen made his AAA for the Tacoma Rainiers last night and ended up throwing only 41 of of his 81 pitches for strikes while walking five over three innings and allowing five earned runs in Tacoma’s 8-4 loss to Colorado Springs.

This coming after Hultzen had allowed five earned runs total in his last 71.1 innings at AA Jackson. He also struck out three and allowed five hits. Colorado Springs isn’t a very soft landing spot for a debut, but where your pitching isn’t as good of an excuse when you only throw just a hair above half of your pitches for strikes.

Nick Franklin made his third start for Tacoma and was 1-for-4 with a double, giving him one hit in each of his three starts but he has struck out an incredible seven times over his first eleven at-bats.

So far, both Hultzen and Franklin have proven that they’re too good for AA but still need a healthy adjustment period in AAA. The next #FreeDannyHultzen meme might not come for a few weeks, though it’s important to note that he also gave up 5 ER in his AA debut before becoming the most dominating pitcher at the level.