UVA alum Danny Hultzen makes long-awaited MLB debut

Danny HultzenDanny Hultzen, finally, made his MLB debut, striking out the side in the seventh inning in an 8-5 Chicago Cubs loss to the Milwaukee Brewers on Sunday.

The lefty was the #2 pick in the 2011 MLB Draft after a stellar career at UVA, after going 12-3 with a 1.37 ERA for the ‘Hoos as a junior, and 11-1 with a 2.78 ERA as a sophomore in 2010.

He was the can’t-miss prospect expected to anchor the Seattle Mariners rotation, quickly reaching Triple-A before injuries started to take their toll.

It was to a point where he returned to UVA to finish his degree and serve as a volunteer coach.

After missing two seasons due to surgery and recovery, Hultzen was signed by the Cubs in 2018, and worked his way back to Triple-A by the end of the season.

He spent most of 2019 back in Triple-A, with the Cubs’ affiliate in Iowa, posting a 1.26 ERA in 14 appearances, striking out 23 and walking nine in 14.1 innings.

The Cubs added him to their MLB roster last week, and he got the call to the mound on Sunday.

The first two batters reached – MVP candidate Christian Yelich after being hit by a 2-2 pitch, Ben Gamel on a single to right on a 1-1 pitch.

Then Hultzen struck Eric Thames with three straight sliders, got Hernan Perez on a 79-mph slider, and Cory Spangenberg on a 94-mph fastball.

Story by Chris Graham

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