Franklin Gutierrez was released from a Seattle hospital on Friday and sent home, placed on the seven-day concussion disabled list – which triggered a flurry of moves with the Seattle Mariners.
Replacing the center fielder on the roster was right-handed reliever Steve Delabar, called up from Tacoma. Why Delabar?
“Kevin Millwood isn’t going to be ready to pitch in his normal turn Monday – we’re hoping to get him back Friday in Oakland,” manager Eric Wedge said. “So Hisashi Iwakuma will start on Monday against Baltimore.
“With Iwakuma unavailable out of the bullpen, we thought we’d need another arm, so we brought Delabar back.”
Got all that?
Millwood, 37, left his last start with discomfort in his right groin muscle. Iwakuma, 31, will be making his first major league start after 225 starts in Japan.
And Delabar, 28, will work as needed out of the bullpen.
The biggest question left to answer is whether Gutierrez will be ready to come off the DL next week. Hit just behind the right ear Thursday with an errant pickoff throw to first base, Gutierrrez had to be helped off the field.
“It was a fluke thing,” Wedge said, “but Franklin has been on the south side of quite a few fluke things the past couple of seasons. We just want him back healthy. We’ll monitor him all week and see where we’re at.”
Interestingly, with Gutierrez out, the Mariners were already short an outfielder when Michael Saunders arrived Friday with flu-like symptoms. That meant Chone Figgins started in left field against Boston.
And if one of the starting outfielders had to be replaced?
“(Munenori) Kawasaki will go out there,” Wedge deadpanned. “He’s up for anything.”
If you’re wondering, Seattle’s 1-0 victory Thursday was the 43rd in franchise history and the first complete-game, 1-0 win for the Mariners since June 18, 2010, when Cliff Lee did it. … John Jaso has started 31 games this season, appeared in a total of 42, yet he now ranks 10th in the American League with seven game-winning RBI. Kyle Seager is second on the Mariners with five. … Iwakuma’s first big-league start will come after 14 relief appearances. He has pitched 30 innings, gone 1-1 with two saves and a 4.75 earned-run average. In games when he’s pitched three innings or more, Iwakuma’s ERA is 3.18. … Since May 18, the bottom has fallen out of Dustin Ackley’s batting average. In 34 games since then, he’s batted .218. The kicker: on May 17, Ackley had a 19-game hitting streak in progress. … Sunday’s game with the Red Sox will mark the midway point of the 2012 season. After 81 games last season, the Mariners were 39-42.
Seattle hosts Boston in a 7:10 p.m. game that will be televised on Root Sports. Probable starting pitchers: Boston’s Josh Beckett (4-7, 4.14 ERA) vs. Erasmo Ramirez (0-2, 4.18) for Seattle.firstname.lastname@example.org blog.thenewstribune.com/mariners @LarryLaRue