Gross requests release, plus other morning news

Veteran outfielder Gabe Gross saw the writing on the wall and requested his release from the club, reducing the number of players in camp to 39 with six days until the opener.

Expect a bunch of cuts upcoming in the next day or two as the Mariners get to the required 25. Gross, despite the uncertain status of center fielder Franklin Gutierrez, was getting very little playing time lately and hit just .077 in 26 at-bats this spring.

Michael Saunders and Ryan Langerhans clearly are the front runners for the center field position in Gutierrez’s absence. And nobody is quite sure yet what the status is with the Gold Glove center fielder, other than that he underwent further tests Friday and is awaiting results again.

Manager Eric Wedge acknowledged Friday night that time is running short, even if Gutierrez is cleared to play, since he’s been out of action for a week now and has had a limited spring already.It’s a difficult situation, deciding whether to put Gutierrez on the 25-man active roster without any certainty of whether his stomach is going to keep him from playing at various times.

So we’ll see how that one plays out. Meanwhile, the club plays the Brewers today at Maryvale at 1:05 p.m. and Saunders again is in center.

Michael Pineda makes his last Cactus League start today. Felix Hernandez is scheduled to throw tomorrow, but will do so in a Minor League intrasquad game with Miguel Olivo catching, rather than face the AL West-rival Rangers.

Adam Kennedy and Jack Cust aren’t in the lineup today, but both have asked to go to Surprise to get some at-bats in a Minor League game.

Here’s today’s Cactus League lineup against Brewers standout Yovani Gallardo:

Jack Wilson 2B
Brendan Ryan SS
Ryan Langerhans RF
Justin Smoak 1B
Michael Saunders CF
Luis Rodriguez 3B
Matt Tuiasosopo LF
Chris Gimenez C
Michael Pineda P

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