“Considerable Concern” Regarding Gutierrez

Dave · February 29, 2012 at 3:17 pm · Filed Under Mariners 

Eric Wedge just gave a brief health update on Franklin Gutierrez, and while there’s no official report yet, it doesn’t sound great. Gutierrez has flown back to Seattle (bad sign #1) to get examined further, and Wedge mentioned that he has “considerable concern” about Gutierrez’s status going forward. This could turn out to be as minor as a strained pectoral or as serious as something more serious. Googling for “injuries more serious than a pectoral strain” didn’t help me out much, and I never went to med school. Anyway, I’d prepare for bad news.

So, right now, Casper Wells is probably the team’s starting center fielder, and Michael Saunders might find himself back in the mix for a big league roster spot. There will be talk about Trayvon Robinson competing for that spot too, but he’s not a good defender and an outfield with him and Carp side by side could be disastrous for a pitch to contact staff. Saunders still needs to show he can put the bat on the ball and occasionally hit something on the outer half of the plate, but at least he’s got a solid glove. Still, a Wells/Saunders job-share in CF is a pretty big step down from what the team hoped to get from Gutierrez.

If it turns out to be something that Gutierrez could come back from in April or May, maybe you live with Saunders/Wells for a few weeks. If he’s going to be out much past the start of the season, though, I’d strongly suggest looking outside the organization for help. Will Venable could probably still be extracted from San Diego for the right offer. There are guys the team could get that would keep the team from having another disaster in the outfield again.

If this is going to be a long term injury, the organization shouldn’t settle for Saunders or Robinson just because they’re young and already here. They can do better.

And we have news – torn pectoral, will be off the field for four weeks, at which time he’ll “resume baseball activities” and be re-evaluated. This basically means he’ll miss all of spring training (again), and probably won’t be back on the team before the beginning of May. And that’s assuming this thing heals on its own. If it lingers, we could be looking at another lost season for Guti.


48 Responses to ““Considerable Concern” Regarding Gutierrez”

  1. MrZDevotee on February 29th, 2012 3:35 pm

    Figgins played center for him in the intrasquad game… (blech)

  2. stevemotivateir on February 29th, 2012 3:57 pm

    Hopefully this isn’t something real serious, but man, it worries me. I’ve done a lot of trash-talking (well, pep-talks) about how this team is sure to do better without Bradley, Saunders, Wilson, and Figgins (as a starter) in the opening day line-up. I may be eating crow over Figgins (though I’m still not convinced he’s a lock), but I’d be choking on a Raven, if Saunders somehow starts in center field. I’m sure Wells has the best shot to replace Guti but it would be nice to see one more veteran (real veteran) outfielder.

  3. Westside guy on February 29th, 2012 3:58 pm

    Still waiting to hear Salk come up with some wacky idea on this, like going out and doing whatever it takes to get Raul Ibañez or Johnny Damon.

    I feel bad for Guti – he’s had quite the run of bad luck.

  4. sexymarinersfan on February 29th, 2012 4:02 pm

    Yeah, almost like Chris Snelling. Hopefully it won’t come to that.

    Agreed Dave. I like the idea of picking someone up if Gutierrez is indeed hurt for a long period of time. We’ve got a logjam at 3rd, and the Figgins idea ain’t a bad one, considering if Kyle Seager hits well during ST. It may come down to Kawasaki and Guillen for the last spot. This just- I can’t believe I’m actually about to say this- increased Figgins value for us.

  5. Mariners35 on February 29th, 2012 4:12 pm

    Westside – That would be really extraordinary to get Ibanez; I thought he was a Yankee now as a part-time DH.

    I suppose suggestions of Mike Wilson, Vinnie Catricala, Saunders or Robinson in an outfield corner, and then Ichiro to center, are going to get laughed out of the room?

    ( I know better than to even suggest Carlos “Golden Sombrero” Peguero.)

  6. alopera on February 29th, 2012 4:17 pm

    Speaking of Snelling/Doyle, maybe we should start referring to Gutierrez as “Rafael”?

  7. vertigoman on February 29th, 2012 4:29 pm

    I’m guessing a torn pectoral is worse than a strained pectoral.
    THis last football season served as a tutorial on that specific injury. Hopefully it’s not a tear and he won’t need surgery. Torn pecs requiring surgery on football players puts them on the IR, which is more significant than the 60DL.

    I was excited to hear Guti was back in shape and had his IBS under control but I wonder if that has something to do with this. Gaining “nearly 20 lbs of muscle” in a few months has to put a strain on one’s frame and flexibility.

  8. rth1986 on February 29th, 2012 4:44 pm

    Thinking about Figgins in centerfield is not a pleasant thought. Also, I think Trayvon is a better fielder than currently given credit for. He has a poor arm, but above average range. He apparently had serious vision issues last year, too, which could explain a few of the poor routes he took in center.

    Somewhat crazy thought: Figgins & $$$ to Oakland for Coco Crisp. Figgins would solve Oakland’s 3B problem, Crisp the Seattle’s CF problem. Would make sense in that the A’s obviously have a huge overcrowding of outfielders at the moment. Although I’m not sure if Crisp would qualify for a trade since he just signed as a free agent.

  9. Breadbaker on February 29th, 2012 4:47 pm

    The only manner in which Figgins would “solve Oakland’s 3B problem” would be from a Mariners perspective.

  10. ozman24 on February 29th, 2012 5:01 pm

    it is confirmed Gutierrez is out indefinitely until the tear is healed.

  11. TherzAlwaysHope on February 29th, 2012 5:12 pm

    My theory: baseball players were discouraged from working out with weights because it would make them muscle bound. Now they are in the gym and playing baseball on the same day. I think this explains why there are so many core muscle strains while doing things like throwing balls and swinging bats.

  12. PhillyMariners on February 29th, 2012 5:13 pm

    This is horrible news. I was really sick of everyone referencing Guti’s injury history and how it may come back (Even though IBS isn’t really an injury). You could tell he has worked hard to come into spring training ready play and this is just too bad.

    But I am believing in the Saunders transformation and the work he did in the offseason. I’m intrigued to see how he does over the next month and I would love for him to win this job outright. I’m not against Wells, I just think Saunders is the better overall player.

  13. The Ancient Mariner on February 29th, 2012 5:30 pm

    We need to go forward and get a new starting CF. If Guti comes back, that will just leave us with the right kind of problem to have (either that, or a replacement for Ichiro).

  14. rth1986 on February 29th, 2012 5:44 pm

    It wouldn’t be the worst thing to give Michael Saunders another month of major league baseball. I’m pretty sure he’s out of options and he seems like the kind of guy who could get away and come back to haunt us. This could be the perfect opportunity for one more chance.

  15. stevemotivateir on February 29th, 2012 6:25 pm

    Out at least 4 weeks. I doubt he’ll be ready opening day, but it sounds like he’ll be fine. No surgery required.

  16. Longgeorge1 on February 29th, 2012 6:49 pm

    We’re going to finish 4th in the AL West with or without Guti. Making any trades that hurt the long term to try to cover CF for a month or two would be a real waste. I would rather take the opportunity to look at some of young guys

  17. make_dave_proud on February 29th, 2012 7:04 pm

    There’s bad luck, then there’s the Ms. The team literally cannot buy a break.

  18. smb on February 29th, 2012 7:28 pm

    Why buy a break, when we get tears, bruises, and sprains for free? Heehee! I’m glad this happened now, rather than after a torrid month of June or something. Hopefully they let him get as close to 100% as possible…methinks this is a bad injury to rush, gaping hole at CF or no. Can Saunders play a competent CF? If so I hope he hits his way into the job this spring (big dinger today I think).

  19. Westside guy on February 29th, 2012 7:29 pm

    Westside – That would be really extraordinary to get Ibanez; I thought he was a Yankee now as a part-time DH.

    Yeah, but note that I said “doing whatever it takes” – like offer Ackley to the Yanks. Acquiring Damon wouldn’t really take much. 😉

    I’m mostly with Longgeorge1 on this. But if, say, Wells ends up being horrible out there; or if they run Saunders out there and he hits .150 for a month – I think they really would need to look at bringing in a solution from outside. We’re not going to win the division, but (I believe) we do need to demonstrate commitment towards improving to the fan base.

  20. MrZDevotee on February 29th, 2012 7:47 pm

    Only thing being we might not be talking about a month– we might be talking about the need for a permanent outfielder (sigh). We’re on a treacherous path to needing a new LF, CF, and RF next season. *gulp*

    An entire outfield… and maybe a couple of capable backups while we’re at it! Git ‘er done, Z!

  21. stevemotivateir on February 29th, 2012 8:05 pm

    If this is truly a test-drive year, without high expectations, maybe it’s not a bad thing to see a little more of Wells early? Having said that, I don’t think taking a hard look at outside options is a bad idea.

  22. MrZDevotee on February 29th, 2012 8:13 pm

    I’m no expert, but reading your last post there sure screams “jinx for a new Casper Wells injury” in the next few days… (crossing my fingers I’m wrong)

  23. stevemotivateir on February 29th, 2012 8:32 pm

    With an abundance of outfield depth, featuring Peguero, Wilson, Saunders, and Robinson, we could clearly absorb a Wells injury (tryna keep a straight-face).

  24. stuafoo on February 29th, 2012 8:54 pm

    No! Say it ain’t so! Feel bad for Guti–great player to watch when he’s healthy. Hopefully just requires a quick stopgap until he gets back. At least we didn’t sign Grady Sizemore.

  25. IwearMsHats on February 29th, 2012 9:14 pm

    At least it didn’t happen March 27

  26. wbathurs on February 29th, 2012 9:57 pm

    If it was a severe tear then there is typically an audible sound when the muscle was torn. It sounded like it wasn’t a 1,2,or 3 severity tear. He won’t need surgery but will need time to let the muscle heal. Out for about a month.

  27. SonOfZavaras on February 29th, 2012 10:43 pm

    I would bet my next mortgage payment that they’ll put Wells in right field, and move Ichi to center.

    Even if Ichiro really is only 80% of the player that he was, he’s still the most palatable in-house option there if Guti isn’t good to go.

  28. Westside guy on February 29th, 2012 10:49 pm

    Ichiro! wasn’t a good fielder in right last year – I think his days as a possible center fielder are past.

  29. Route 21 on February 29th, 2012 11:23 pm

    Well, there goes seeing Guti in Arizona in two weeks.

    OT: Anyone have any good tips for visiting spring training? We’re first timers.

  30. zak24 on March 1st, 2012 12:00 am

    Figgins and (lots of) cash for Crisp.

  31. Paul B on March 1st, 2012 6:45 am

    This may have a ripple effect. Carp probably get almost all the starts in left, Montero getting almost all the starts at DH, and Olivo (barf) getting most of the catching, with Jaso the Sunday Day Game Catcher.

    Wedge does like him some Olivo dingers.

  32. Paul B on March 1st, 2012 6:47 am

    “OT: Anyone have any good tips for visiting spring training? We’re first timers.”

    Bring patience for driving around Phoenix. Allow lots of time to get anywhere.

    Otherwise, enjoy the weather, and try to visit different ballparks.

  33. Longgeorge1 on March 1st, 2012 7:45 am

    Hey I’m all for trades to get us better. Michael P. for Jesus,,, I’m OK. The pimple on Z’s butt knows more baseball than I do. But panicking to cater to an impatient fan base is not the way to go. If the PLAN is build the farm and let those results trickle up we are looking at least another three of four years. Improvement though is on the immediate horizon. I wouldn’t be surprised if another young pitcher or infielder got moved but please I am not interested in some 34year old stop gap because we might lose an extra game or two in April during a season that at best will be there to reveal two or three more rising stars in our system. I think that if the M’s win 75 – 80 this year with a bunch of youngsters out there even the casual fan will be happy.

  34. kinickers77 on March 1st, 2012 10:39 am

    The Baseball gods keep throwing lightning bolts at the Mariners. Getting tired of sucking with hopeful news dwindling and dwindling.

  35. Badbadger on March 1st, 2012 10:45 am

    The M’s could certainly use more outfield depth, but if they’re going to trade for someone I’d prefer it be a prospect with upside. Maybe move Paxton for an outfielder of equivalent talent.

  36. dafixisin on March 1st, 2012 11:27 am

    It’s no secret that Peter Bourjos is going to be seriously blocked soon, especially once Mike Trout gets the permananent callup to the bigs. Don’t know what it would take to pry him from the Halos, but I’d start at Chone Figgins (plus a lot of $$$) and Jason Vargas. Bourjos could be a great #2 hitter, would allow the team to move Ackley to #1 and would provide great defensive depth anywhere in the Safeco green.

  37. djw on March 1st, 2012 11:32 am

    Somewhat crazy thought: Figgins & $$$ to Oakland for Coco Crisp.

    This is madness. Billy Beane may not stand out like he did 10 years ago, but he hasn’t lost his mind. I don’t love Crisp going forward, but he’s worth 5.5 WAR the last two years, whereas Figgins is negative. They’re not remotely comparable, and Beane knows it. He’s got 3B options in the organization who are terrible, but not worse than Figgins.

  38. 300ZXNA on March 1st, 2012 12:36 pm

    I know that our organization was dug into a substantial and deserved hole by Bavasi, but it sure seems that we have had more than our fair share of bad luck on top of it. Guti, Figgins, Smoak (admittedly he still has time to justify his elite pedigree) all seem to have found exceedingly bad outcomes that are clearly on the outlier end of the scale.

  39. zak24 on March 1st, 2012 1:24 pm


    In 2009 Figgins had a 6.9 WAR. More then Crisp’s 2010 and 2011 combined. It’s not outside the realm of possibility that they finish this year within 1 WAR of each other. Oakland has too many outfielders and jack s%*t at third base. And wasn’t there a rumor last offseason that Figgins might be shipped off to Oakland? Crazier things have happened. If we ate say 8-10 million off of Figgins’ remaining 18 then Beane has his 3rd basemen, his speedy leadoff hitter, and no one blocking Cespedes in center.. all while dishing out 3 million a year less then what he is giving Coco Crisp to block Cespedes with no one to play at third. I am crazy though you’re right about that..

  40. eponymous coward on March 1st, 2012 2:25 pm

    In 2009 Figgins had a 6.9 WAR. More then Crisp’s 2010 and 2011 combined.

    2010 and 2011 are more relevant in projecting future performance, and Crisp is better.

    It’s not outside the realm of possibility that they finish this year within 1 WAR of each other.

    It is not outside the realm of possibility that I’ll win the next Mega Millions drawing, either. That doesn’t mean I should invest the mortgage money in tickets, though.

    Crisp is the better player (more WAR per PA, younger, better recent performance).

    If we ate say 8-10 million off of Figgins’ remaining 18 then Beane has his 3rd basemen, his speedy leadoff hitter, and no one blocking Cespedes in center.. all while dishing out 3 million a year less then what he is giving Coco Crisp to block Cespedes with no one to play at third.

    So you’re offering Beane a $3 million savings and a worse player.

    If I was Beane, why wouldn’t I be trying to look for better return than that, for someone who’s been a league-average or better contributor the last two years when he’s been in the lineup? If anything, I’d probably hold on to him for a deadline deal, and possibly be able to unload his ENTIRE 2013 salary for players making MLB minimum, instead of having to take a white elephant.

    The thing is Figgins has minimal trade value right now, even if you send a boatload of cash with him. Maybe he’d have value if he bounces back to career norms in 2012 (which is possible, but not inevitable, maybe not even likely), but right now? I think the only trades involving him involve you taking garbage back ala Silva/Bradley or Cirillo/Jarvis. Crisp isn’t garbage. You’d probably have to throw in significant minor league talent to make the deal work for Beane (and to be honest, Figgins has NEGATIVE value in that kind of deal because his salary has to be overcome). Is that what we’d really want to do?

  41. MrZDevotee on March 1st, 2012 2:52 pm

    We have lots of hard throwing bullpen candidates, any number of whom could end up being closers, with no real pressing need for an experienced closer this season– anyone have thoughts on trading Brandon League (from an overvalued position) for a decent outfielder (a position with the most resources around the league)– we even have the luxury of being able to take any 1 of the 3 outfield positions… Like say, maybe a right fielder, to take Ichiro’s place down the road, and switch Ichy to center for this season?

    A couple of closers have already come up lame this spring, so there should be SOME sort of market developing out there for an experienced, young, hard throwing closer! (Or, hey, maybe even, “Hi, NY Yankees… With your retirement age closer…”)

  42. Badbadger on March 1st, 2012 3:26 pm

    I’m not super excited about getting another so-so outfielder, and I don’t think we’d get a solid/above average OFer for league. Maybe though, who knows?

  43. stevemotivateir on March 1st, 2012 5:35 pm

    I can’t imagine League getting dealt for a decent MLB-ready outfielder right now unless he was part of a multi-player deal. I would guess he’s far more likely to get dealt at or near the deadline for a prospect. You got me thinkin’ a bit though! Maybe Jack’s already making calls?

  44. Westside guy on March 1st, 2012 7:39 pm

    The goings-on this off-season don’t seem to lend credence to the idea that the M’s could spin a closer like League for anything particularly valuable.

  45. raul_podzednick on March 2nd, 2012 10:02 am

    Carp gets more time in left, Wells gets more time in Center or Right. It sucks that Guti is out but we have options. Every team gets injuries, we have some depth at outfield. Maybe not PROVEN depth but right on the cusp and now is the time to find out who they really are. If Saunder’s resurgence is real then even better.

  46. stevemotivateir on March 2nd, 2012 10:37 am

    Holly stating the obvious Batman!

    Anyway, this may sound a bit greedy, but can we get a game-thread for today?

  47. stevemotivateir on March 2nd, 2012 10:49 am

    Using the gameday link from the Mariners site, the line-up they have posted is:

    Kawasaki, ss
    Seager, 3rd
    Wells, left
    Montero, c
    Peguero, right
    Catricala, DH
    Liddi, 1st
    Saunders, center
    Rodriguez, 2nd

  48. msfanmike on March 2nd, 2012 1:40 pm

    Endy Chavez sure would be a handy guy to have around. I thought the same thing last year, too. For all I know, they tried to sign him during the offseason. It would sure be nice to go get him now … If the orioles are willing to play along

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