David Aardsma, who has made five rehab appearances with Tacoma, is experiencing forearm stiffness and will be shut down for a couple of days.
“We’ll have him play catch in a couple of days, and if that’s fine, we’ll have him throw a bullpen and get him back out,” manager Eric Wedge said.
Aardsma, who would have been the Mariners’ closer, has been out all season after undergoing hip surgery on Jan. 3. Wedge did not seem overly concerned with the forearm issue.
“It happens,” he said. “He’s feeling good with regard to the hip. That’s the most important thing. This is really nothing to be concerned about. I’m sure it didn’t help it was 20 degrees (pitching in Reno and Salt Lake) and everything else that goes along with it. It was just some normal soreness so we’re going to be careful with it.”
In four innings with Tacoma, Aardsma has given up eight hits and seven earned runs for a 15.75 ERA. He has struck out five and walked four.
As for Franklin Gutierrez, he began his own rehab stint with Tacoma last night, playing designated hitter and getting a triple in four at-bats. Wedge said the original plan was for Gutierrez to play center field, but because it was a damp night in Tacoma, they decided it was prudent to keep him out of the outfield. He is scheduled to play five innings in center tonight. The plan is for Gutierrez to alternate between center and DH this week.
“We’ll re-evaluate this weekend, see where’s he’s at,” Wedge said. “We’re taking it day by day right now. We’ll see how it comes together this weekend and go from there. See how much more time, if any, he needs.”
Gutierrez has battled stomach problems all spring and was diagnosed with Irritable Bowel Syndrome. The Mariners are encouraged that Gutierrez’s strength is returning.
“We wouldn’t have sent him out if we didn’t feel good about that,” Wedge said. “That was the first step. The first couple days, he had some energy issues, then he really picked it up after that. His weight’s been good, his energy level’s up. Physically, I think he’s definitely headed in the right direction, but now he needs some game reps and at-bats.”