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Daily coverage of the Mariners during the season and all year long.

June 2, 2012 at 12:11 PM

Franklin Gutierrez finally to begin rehabiliation assignment today

Did you know?: Two years ago today, Ken Griffey Jr. retired from the Mariners and baseball, driving off into the sunset and onward to Montana and then his home in Florida. Though, I suppose, those latter two destinations are the opposite direction from any sunset. Darned details.
Kyle Seager, seen in the photo above on the field today, has nine hits in his last three games, five of them for extra-bases. He’s lifted his on-base-plus-slugging percentage for the season to .806. If he can finish the season with an OPS above .800, he has to be part of the future third base conversation — regardless of how may, or few, home runs he hits.
Those kinds of stats at second base would be superb, so the M’s have some stuff to think about this winter. Good stuff. Then again, it’s only June.
Franklin Gutierrez hopes to give the Mariners something good to think about this winter. But first, he needs to get back on a major league field.
He’ll take a step in that direction tonight as he begins an injury rehabilitation assignment with Class AAA Tacoma. That will start Gutierrez’s 20-day rehab clock, meaning if all goes well, he’ll be back with the Mariners by around June 23.
That’s if all goes well. So far, Gutierrez had been able to play some extended spring training games in Arizona without issue. But the team has been selectively feeding him those. To be ready for the majors, he has to get on a field day after day after day after day. Then, he has to see whether the plantar fasciitis comes back, as is so often can.
In other words, he’s not out of the woods yet. He just sees an opening in the woods several miles ahead and has some hiking to do.

Back to the Mariners and Gutierrez’s outfield replacement, Michael Saunders. He’s back in center field today after that unfortunate miscue that cost Seattle the game last night.
“He’s been a great center fielder for us this year,” Mariners manager Eric Wedge said. “It’s just one of those fluke things.”
Wedge said Felix Hernandez got some mild treatment on his back this morning and is taking it easy today. But so far, he added, there is no reason to think his next outing is in doubt.
The lineups:
RF Ichiro
2B Dustin Ackley
3B Kyle Seager
DH Jesus Montero
1B Justin Smoak
C John Jaso
LF Mike Carp
CF Michael Saunders
SS Brendan Ryan
RHP Hector Noesi
CF Alejandro De Aza
2B Gordon Beckham
DH Adam Dunn
1B Paul Konerko
RF Alex Rios
C A.J. Pierzynski
LF Dayan Viciedo
SS Alexei Ramirez
3B Orlando Hudson
RHP Gavin Floyd

Comments | Topics: Brendan Ryan, Jesus Montero


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