Franklin Gutierrez is making his next step in his return to the Mariners. The Gold Glove outfielder, who has missed the first 25 games of this season and much of spring training because of irritable bowel syndrome, has begun the rehab process tonight in Tacoma with the Rainiers.
With a hat tip to the Twitter account of blog friend and venerable Rainiers announcer Mike Curto, we learned that Gutierrez is in Tacoma and in the starting lineup for tonight's game at Cheney Stadium against the Tucson Padres. So drive on over to Cheney, or tune into 850-AM or listen here.
Gutierrez will lead off and DH. But he isn't going to play the full game
Gutierrez has been with the Mariners since early last week and has been taking early and regular batting practice as well as strength and conditioning drills to regain some of what he lost. Gutierrez lost more than 20 pounds off of a frame that couldn't afford to lose five. It will take a while for him to get his strength back.
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Manager Eric Wedge said they would have Gutierrez get a quick check up today and it must have went well to have him start his rehab.
Because Gutierrez only played in parts of six spring training games, I would imagine his rehab stint would be somewhat lengthy so he can get the feel of games and his timing back.
Tacoma Rainiers (8-16)24 Franklin Gutierrez (.000, 0 HR, 0 RBI) DH3 Dustin Ackley (.212, 2 HR, 7 RBI) 2B22 Matt Mangini (.319, 0 HR, 6 RBI) 1B34 Carlos Peguero (.297, 3 HR, 12 RBI) LF10 Alex Liddi (.224, 4 HR, 13 RBI) 3B25 Josh Bard (.297, 1 HR, 10 RBI) C39 Mike Wilson (.350, 2 HR, 9 RBI) CF19 Johan Limonta (.373, 0 HR, 7 RBI) RF4 Sean Kazmar (.216, 0 HR, 11 RBI) SS