Gutierrez returns to Seattle for stomach tests
Mariners center fielder Franklin Gutierrez missed Thursday’s workout in Peoria after flying back to Seattle on Wednesday night to have a lingering stomach issue checked out by doctors.
Gutierrez had problems with his stomach last year, but never missed any playing time. He went to the doctor again this offseason, but no problem was diagnosed.
But when the issue continued this spring, the Mariners elected to have him fly to Seattle as “a proactive measure,” according to manager Eric Wedge.
“We want to make sure we stay ahead of it so he doesn’t have some of the same issues he had last year,” Wedge said.
Gutierrez hadn’t missed any of the workouts this spring, but the issue had flared up “on and off,” according to Wedge.
Michael Saunders was working in center field during Thursday’s practice and Wedge said Jody Gerut, Ryan Langerhans and Gabe Gross were also candidates to fill in when needed, along with some of the young prospects in camp.
But Wedge said he’s optimistic the issue isn’t serious and indicated Gutierrez will play in Friday’s intrasquad game if he returns in time.
“We’ll see what they come up with, if anything, and go from there,” Wedge said. “There’s no reason to speculate.”
Wedge, who managed Gutierrez in Cleveland earlier in his career, said he would like to give the 28-year-old more time off this season regardless. Gutierrez played 152 games last season and 153 in ’09.