Well, Franklin Gutierrez nearly made it two weeks without incident, but that streak is about to end. Gutierrez is not starting tonight’s game because of tightness in his upper leg area near his groin. He’s having the area worked on by trainers, but the Mariners still don’t know whether he’ll be available for late duty if needed.
That could leave the Mariners with just three outfielders. If Endy Chavez was to get hurt playing center, Jason Bay would take over at that spot and backup infielder Robert Andino would move to the outfield corner.
Yeah, that whole not able to play more than four days a week thing with Gutierrez is starting to catch up to this team. Mariners manager Eric Wedge wasn’t going to play Gutierrez more than four days in a row, but had to go five when Michael Saunders got hurt.
So, here we are.
“He’s pretty tight today,” Wedge said. “We have just one extra outfielder and we can’t really take a chance on starting him, losing him and then be without anybody. So, he’s been getting worked on today. He’ll continue to get worked on throughout the course of the game and hopefully be available for us late. And hopefully he’ll be able to get back in there tomorrow.”
Wedge said the tightness was “more so on the right side” which seems to imply Gutierrez is having some degree of tightness in both legs. Many of you have written in commenting that Gutierrez does not appear to be playing like his old self, and it turns out you’re probably right.
“I don’t think he’s been as quick as he’s been in the past,” Wedge said. “I think he’s been a little bit protective, probably of the lower half.”
As for what will happen going forward, Wedge shrugged.
“You’ve seen the history,” Wedge said. “I’m just trying to manage as best I can. That’s what we’ve been doing all spring and it’s what we’ll continue to have to do. That’s why you have to give him periodic days off.”
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