Michael Saunders is going to be out for a while and today, the Mariners wasted little time getting a new leadoff hitter and center fielder, Endy Chavez, in against right-handed starter Yu Darvish. Saunders is the primary leadoff man versus righties while Franklin Gutierrez last night played in his fifth consecutive game — hitting his third leadoff homer in less than two weeks.
The trick with Gutierrez remains keeping him healthy so he can keep doing this all year. The Mariners are none-too-thrilled with the prospect of having to play Gutierrez seven days per week with Saunders out. If that was the case, they would have left Chavez in Class AAA, not lost a player off their roster in order to add him yesterday and simply tried to wing it for a few weeks with Gutierrez in center and Jason Bay spelling him maybe once per week.
So, clearly, that did not happen. And now, you’ve got Gutierrez with the night off.
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