A year ago, trying to play despite irritable bowel syndrome that dropped his weight to 175 pounds, Franklin Gutierrez looked like he played - and that wasn't good.
Healthy again, coming after an off-season of eating well and working out 'every day but Sunday,' Gutierrez walked into the Seattle Mariners complex today weighing 201 pounds, most of it muscle.
"I'm back to being me. I'm back to where I was in '09," Gutierrez said.
If so, the Mariners are a much better team. Gutierrerz is a Gold Glove-winning center fielder, and in 2009 he batted .28 with 18 home runs and 70 RBI. Last year, in 92 games, he hit just .224 with one home run and 19 RBI.
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"I'd hit the ball and it wouldn't go anywhere," Gutierrez said. "I'm not talking home runs, I'm talking about line drives. I started swinging in December after working out all of October and November, and I could see a difference in the way the ball came off my bat."
There is, however, one problem.
"None of my suits fit," said Gutierrez, whose waist is small and whose shoulders are broader. "I need a tailor."
Gutierrez will take a physical today, along with all Mariners position players, then take the field for the first time tomorrow.