Former major league left-hander Danny Hultzen has retired from playing, but he’ll remain in the game as a member of the Cubs’ front office, Barry Svrluga of the Washington Post reports. Hultzen will work as a pitching development assistant under Cubs assistant general manager/vice president of pitching Craig Breslow.
The Mariners selected Hultzen second overall out of the University of Virginia in the 2011 draft, choosing him instead of such current stars as Trevor Bauer, Anthony Rendon, Francisco Lindor, Javier Baez and George Springer, but the pick proved to be a mistake in hindsight. While Hultzen did rank among the game’s top prospects in the ensuing couple years after his draft, shoulder injuries and the surgeries that accompanied them dogged him as a professional player. He missed most of 2013 and all of 2014, barely pitched from 2015-16 and then took 2017 off to complete his degree.
Hultzen returned to the pros in ’18 on a minor league contract with the Cubs, finally making his MLB debut in September 2019 with 3 1/3 scoreless innings. Although the Cubs then re-signed him to a non-guaranteed pact, Hultzen didn’t get back to the mound during a 2020 season devoid of minor league baseball. Now, though, the 31-year-old will have a chance to impact the organization in a different role.