A day after Franklin Gutierrez took on a wall in Angels Stadium, the Seattle Mariners lineup has Michael Saunders in center field.
Gutierrez has missed significant time this season with injuries to his chest, foot and a concussion that cost him months, not weeks. This time, however, it appears Gutierrez is just getting a day off.
"My neck is a little stiff, that's all," Gutierrez said. "I'm fine. No problems. I'll be in there tomorrow."
Guti's injuries this season, combined with a stomach ailment throughout 2011, may force the Mariners to reconsider the future with Gutierrez beyond 2013.
Are today's Mariners a better team with Gutierrez playing? Without question, yes. But if they cannot count on his regular presence, shoring up the offense with another outfielder could become an off-season priority.
Here's Seattle's lineup against Oakland RHP A.J. Griffin:
Dustin Ackley 2BCasper Wells RFKyle Seager 3BJesus Montero CJohn Jaso DHJustin Smoak 1BMichael Saunders CFTrayvon Robinson LFBrendan Ryan SSBlake Beavan RHP