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April 13, 2011 at 12:04 PM

Gutierrez to join Tacoma on Friday, and other pre-game chatter

Here are today’s lineups:
Toronto
Yunel Escobar SS
Corey Patterson CF
Jose Bautista RF
Juan Rivera LF
Jayson Nix 3B
J.P. Arencibia DH
Edwin Encarncion 1B
John McDonald 2B
Jose Molina C
Kyle Drabek RHP (1-0, 1.38 ERA)
Seattle
Ichiro RF
Adam Kennedy 2B
Milton Bradley LF
Jack Cust DH
Justin Smoak 1B
Ryan Langerhans CF
Luis Rodriguez 3B
Brendan Ryan SS
Chris Gimenez C
Jason Vargas LHP (0-1, 7.20 ERA)
Yesterday, the Blue Jays got a look at Seattle rookie pitcher Michael Pineda, who was outstanding. Today, the M’s got their first peak at Toronto’s highly touted rookie pitcher, Kyle Drabek, son of former Cy Young winner Doug Drabek.
Kyle Drabek was the key piece coming from Philadelphia in the trade that sent Roy Halladay to the Phillies. Drabek has pitched well in his first two starts, against
the Twins and Angels, bringing a 1.38 ERA into the game.


The recovery of Franklin Gutierrez continues to go well, and the current plan is for him to join Class AAA Tacoma on Friday (which happens to be the Rainiers home opener at renovated Cheney Stadium). Manager Eric Wedge said Gutierrez would play three games for the Rainers, and then they would re-evaluate.
Gutierrez is on the disabled list as he battles through stomach problems that have hampered him all spring, and date back to last season. He believes the issue is under control now, and he has been working out with the team at Safeco FIeld this week.
Gutierrez batted against David Aardsma in a simulated game on Tuesday.
“It was nice to see him up there against Aardsma in the simulated game,” Wedge said. “He’s moving around like Guti does in center field; that was good to see. And he’s getting some BP. He’s looking pretty good. He had a good work day today. He’ll come in tomorrow and work again. If all goes well, we’ll shoot for Friday in Tacoma.”
Brown isn’t ready to lay out a timetable for Gutierrez’s return to the Mariners.
“My mindset is just the first three days right now,” he said. “I already talked to Brownie (Tacoma manager Daren Brown) down there. We’ll talk again Saturday, and see how he works those three days.”
Chone Figgins remained out of the Mariners lineup with a contusion on his left thumb.
“He’s closer,” Wedge said. “He got a lot better yesterday with all the treatment. I’m pretty optimistic to have him back in tomorrow (when the Mariners open a four-game series in Kansas City).”
Wedge said there is a chance Figgins might be available late in today’s game.

Comments | Topics: Brendan Ryan, Chone Figgins

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