Franklin Gutierrez Update

marc w · May 4, 2011 at 11:25 pm · Filed Under Mariners 

As Dave mentioned, that the M’s are hanging with the AL West leaders despite missing their starting CF is a welcome surprise. Given the M’s poor defensive numbers thus far (and thus the disparity between the Mariners’ FIP and runs allowed), Gutierrez’s recovery is all the more important. The fact that Michael Saunders still can’t figure out MLB pitching is a factor as well.

First, the good news. Gutierrez has now played three games in three nights, and he’s racked up 12 plate appearances. He’s logged some (uneventful) time in center field, and he’s taken hacks against lefties and righties. Given his fatigue issues in spring training, these ‘accomplishments’ are nothing to sneeze at.

On the other hand, he’s yet to play a full game defensively: he played 5 innings on Monday and Tuesday, then played a full game tonight as the designated hitter. He’s popping a lot of balls up, and his one hit (he’s 1-12) came when strong winds blew what was a normal FB to the LF alley warning track.

Gutierrez’s seemingly undiagnosable intestinal issues sapped him of strength, and they prevented him from getting the kind of reps in during spring training that he needed. That said, it’s great to see him on the field again, and you’ve got to figure he’s on schedule to rejoin the M’s some time in the next month or so. He’s struck out only twice, and he’s just missing the sweet spot. Some BABIP luck and a tiny sample make him look worse than he is, but honestly, he’s yet to hit a line drive. I’d love to report on his defense, but he made zero put-outs in his 10 innings in CF.

The photos below come from the game on Tuesday evening.
Gutierrez 1
Gutierrez 2


5 Responses to “Franklin Gutierrez Update”

  1. marc w on May 4th, 2011 11:28 pm

    His speed looks decent, but again, it’s hard to tell when he’s DHing and playing two games without any fly balls hit to him.

  2. flutieflakes on May 5th, 2011 12:44 am

    Good to see Franklin getting back at it. This team really needs his contributions. He looks good, but then again, Gutierrez is a good-looking guy. I don’t know if you could tell or not by watching him, but was there a noticeable drop in his weight?

  3. nathaniel dawson on May 5th, 2011 3:17 pm

    Doesn’t he have to come up after 20 days of rehab? That would make it sometime around the 21st. Or is there the possibility of some kind of extension?

  4. marc w on May 5th, 2011 4:15 pm

    flutie – yeah, he’s lost weight. I’ve seen 15 lbs quoted a lot; sounds about right. For someone under 200lbs to begin with, that’s significant.

    Nathaniel – Yes, if everything goes well, he’ll be up by the 21st. It’s not an extension, but if he’s nearing that date and has a setback, I’d imagine they’d do a retroactive DL or something to restart the clock. I mean, he’s yet to play a full game in the field, and we saw he had trouble playing back to back games in the spring (before his diagnosis, of course). They’re stepping him up to 7 innings tonight, so hopefully the 20 days would be plenty. But after the confusing spectacle of the spring, I’m not counting on it…and I think the team needs to err on the side of caution.

  5. flutieflakes on May 5th, 2011 6:24 pm

    Ugh. He probably hasn’t been this light since he was a teenager. I hope that a 7.5% drop in weight doesn’t correlate to a 7.5% drop in bat speed/power. That could be enough to kill his value at the plate. Also, losing muscle mass sometimes has an adverse effect on acceleration in sprinting- just look at the high-end 100m sprinters. Those guys are ripped. I hope he can put some of his weight back on, but his IBS condition would have had to improve greatly first. As a guy with a generally sketchy stomach myself, I know how difficult it can be to gain weight. Cross your fingers, and pray to the stool gods that they begin to look upon Franklin with favor.

    I’m honestly getting to the point where I’m really not expecting much of a contribution from Franklin this season. I just hope he is able to put the weight back on over the rest of the season & the offseason, and come back with a good year next year.

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