Franklin Gutierrez is back

marc w · May 17, 2011 at 10:11 pm · Filed Under Mariners 

The Mariners activated Franklin Gutierrez tonight, and sent RHP Tom Wilhelmsen to AA Jackson to get some work in the rotation. Wilhelmsen worked as a starter last year for A Clinton before moving to the pen in the Arizona Fall League.

Gutierrez has played fairly well for AAA Tacoma in a de facto spring training assignment. He hasn’t played a ton of CF; he frequently gave way to a replacement late in games, and played several games as the designated hitter. Still, with Michael Saunders in deep freeze at the plate, the M’s obviously thought the time was right to bring Guti up.

This won’t fix the M’s defensive woes by itself, but it certainly helps an anemic offense and a surprisingly poor defense. I think expectations should be limited for a while, but he’s still a far sight better than Saunders.

Comments

22 Responses to “Franklin Gutierrez is back”

  1. marc w on May 17th, 2011 10:16 pm

    I understand keeping Saunders around, given that they need a back-up CF what with Gutierrez still getting into game shape (I thought they’d wait until Guti could go 9 innings in back-to-back games) – but it’s going to be odd for either Saunders or Peguero for a while.

    Most likely scenario is that one of the two heads south to Tacoma when Dustin Ackley moves up, which could happen any day now.

  2. lalo on May 17th, 2011 10:34 pm

    Great, he should be the clean up hitter, even injured, he´s much, much better than Olivo or Cust

  3. henryv on May 17th, 2011 10:42 pm

    It will be interesting to see how much DHing he does before moving to CF.

    Given that the M’s over the last 2 seasons have had one of the worst DH production in the history of the “position”, he might be a welcome break from watching Cust strike out more often then Mike Blowers says “not trying to do too much” or Bill Kruger saying something stupid.

    I’d like to see Saunders sent down, and only allow him to face LHP until he learns how to hit them.

  4. msfanmike on May 17th, 2011 10:43 pm

    I agree with you Mark, this is good news about Guti being ready to come back (albeit with some caution).

    Hopefully Geoff Baker cant find any reason to refute it.

    Yes, Saunders … minor league bound or bust. If only there were any other options on the ML roster for an occasional CF replacement. Ichiro could be that guy – in theory – but I doubt the team will make that leap.

  5. marc w on May 17th, 2011 10:58 pm

    “It will be interesting to see how much DHing he does before moving to CF.”

    Sounds like the answer is ‘none.’ He’s penciled in as the starting CF tomorrow (according to Wedge, via Greg Johns).

  6. giuseppe on May 17th, 2011 11:03 pm

    Slid in under the flyswatter deadline with a whole day to spare. Glad to have Guti back. Can’t wait to see him in CF.

  7. Westside guy on May 17th, 2011 11:06 pm

    Yay Guti! Welcome back!

  8. marc w on May 17th, 2011 11:06 pm

    I can’t either.

    I’ll give Saunders credit – he handled CF pretty well in Guti’s absence. It’ll still be nice to see someone who can catch and hit a bit.

    I have no idea what’s gone wrong with Saunders. This is mostly mental, I think. He’s simply not THIS bad at the plate.

  9. CarpCarter on May 18th, 2011 12:05 am

    “It will be interesting to see how much DHing he does before moving to CF.”
    Sounds like the answer is ‘none.’ He’s penciled in as the starting CF tomorrow (according to Wedge, via Greg Johns).

    Guti spent a full nine innings in CF in his last game for Tacoma so it seems management believes all systems are go.

  10. The_Waco_Kid on May 18th, 2011 1:19 am

    I’d like to see Saunders sent down, and only allow him to face LHP until he learns how to hit them.

    He’s struggling just as badly against RHP.

  11. devzfan on May 18th, 2011 1:39 am

    Are there any stats available on how many catches outfielders made/could have made on balls hit just over the wall?

  12. mrb on May 18th, 2011 5:54 am

    Is there something I’m missing here? I know it takes more than nothing, fitness-wise, to be a major league outfielder, but how could Gutierrez possibly not be fit enough to play nine innings in the field?

  13. djw on May 18th, 2011 6:41 am

    This is another reason why I don’t get the release of Langerhans. He’s released from a team that badly needs a defensively capable backup outfielder for late inning defensive replacement purposes (he sure would have been handy last Friday night). And if he were here now, he could back up Gutierrez and allow Saunders to go where he can actually focus on figuring out his hitting issues.

    Not a huge fan of Langerhans or anything; don’t necessarily see him as a part of the future, but he’s got more value to this roster than he was given credit for, I think.

  14. Arron on May 18th, 2011 6:45 am

    Mrb-

    I don’t think it’s really a “fitness” thing…I have IBS but haven’t had a flare up in months. But if his condition is like mine, you get very fatigued, uncontrollable diahrea, nausea, and stomach cramps that will make the toughest guy double over in pain like you wouldn’t believe.

    Once the meds have taken their time and get his body in tune, he should be fine.

    But if he’s still struggling with that, he might not be ready to be in a 3 hour game without having major issues.

  15. Chris_From_Bothell on May 18th, 2011 9:34 am

    Perhaps having the extra outfielder in the mix lets them give Ichiro a day off in there? Or if/when Cust cools off, they can cycle someone in at DH. And interleague games are coming, so more guys on the bench can’t hurt. Probably too much to hope that a trade is brewing, e.g. to move Jack Wilson…

    Got my Gutierrez shirt on today, goin to the game tonight. Hopefully with the weather being so nice, the crowd will be a touch larger than normal and we can give Franklin a nice loud welcome back.

  16. marc w on May 18th, 2011 1:41 pm

    mrb,

    It’s not that he can’t go 9 innings – I think he can. But he’s going to need to go from having played 9 innings in the field rarely, and pretty much always having a day off from fielding afterwards, to going 9 innings every day. I thought they’d want to get his fitness up so that he can play 6 games in 7 days, and I suppose it’s possible he’ll be in a platoon situation for a week or two. However he’s used going forward, I’m still glad he’s back.

  17. MrZDevotee on May 18th, 2011 2:01 pm

    re: Langerhans-
    He’s not very good, is probably one of the reasons he’s not here any more. Value-wise I think Langerhans versus Peguero or Wilson is hopefully a wash, so why not go with the guys that might still have upside, and might grow into something more, given time with Major League talent? (Peguero gives up a little defensively, but hopefully can eventually compensate at the plate.)

    The weird thing about baseball, much like the college to pro leap in football, the game is WAY DIFFERENT at the Major League level, even though it doesn’t look it.

    The speed is crazy, the pitching is amazing (mostly), the defense is a step above what these guys have faced before… The only way to see what you have in a prospect is to put him up against Major League talent. We know what we’re getting with Langerhans– a league average player– but both Wilson and Peguero (and in the dreams of some, still Saunders) haven’t peaked, or even had an opportunity, against this new level of competition.

    (Adrian Gonzalez is a good study of an overmatched rookie who eventually adapted– his first two trips to the bigs he batted a collective .230 with a .660 OPS.)

    I liked Langerhans, but on a team with hopes of contending he really doesn’t have a place on its roster.

  18. mlathrop3 on May 18th, 2011 4:10 pm

    Being in CF with serious IBS symptoms is just not a place you want to be. Not very many easy outs at that point…

  19. Paul B on May 18th, 2011 4:19 pm

    Guti batting 5th tonight, as seen on Twitter:

    GregJohnsMLBGreg Johns, retweeted by shannondrayer
    Mariners lineup: Ichiro RF. Figgins 3B, Smoak 1B, Cust DH, Guti CF, Kennedy 2b, Olivo c. Peguero LF, Rodriguez SS

  20. juneau_fan on May 18th, 2011 6:36 pm

    Being in CF with serious IBS symptoms is just not a place you want to be. Not very many easy outs at that point…

    I’ve tried not to allow my mind to go that direction during this whole thing, and there you go and say it…Isn’t there a little door out there? Of course, everyone would notice your CF is missing.

  21. henryv on May 18th, 2011 6:43 pm

    Isn’t there a little door out there? Of course, everyone would notice your CF is missing.

    See: Manny Ramirez, Green Monster Door

    ———————

    In a separate issue, I’m wondering if he is going to have the endurance to play CF every day. He might be a CF tonight, but I’m wondering about tomorrow early afternoon, or the night game after a plane flight.

  22. Madison Mariner on May 20th, 2011 6:22 am

    “This is another reason why I don’t get the release of Langerhans. He’s released from a team that badly needs a defensively capable backup outfielder for late inning defensive replacement purposes…”

    Well, he wasn’t “released”, per se…he was DFA’ed, and the M’s passed him through outright assignment waivers successfully and he reported to Tacoma a few days after the DFA occurred. Milton Bradley’s DFA, on the other hand, did result in his eventual release.

    He’s a nice reserve outfielder to have, but I think at this point in his career, he’s a borderline 40-man roster player(Langerhans, that is). So, given that Mike Wilson is younger and needs to have a chance to show that he can be just as good as Langerhans(or possibly better, or possibly worse), I’m OK with sacrificing Langerhans’ spot on the 40-man roster for Wilson. Might as well see what we have in Wilson. :)

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