Guti back in lineup, says he’s staying positive

GutiCageThe on-again, off-again season of Franklin Gutierrez is back on Monday as the injury-plagued center field returned to the starting lineup after sitting out Sunday.

Gutierrez, 30, has started just three of the last nine games while dealing with leg issues, but said he’s feeling better and is hopeful of getting some consistency going forward.

“I’m working on it,” he said. “I’ve been having some issues with my legs. It’s not a secret. I’ve been working just to get better and try to be in the lineup every day. Having a day off obviously helps, so I feel better today.”

Gutierrez has missed 192 of the 324 games in the past two seasons due to a stomach disorder, a strained oblique, a torn pectoral muscle and a concussion, all of which put him on the disabled list for extensive periods. But this latest injury is another new one.

“I have some issues with my pelvis and I’m trying to fix it,” Gutierrez said. “Some days it’s the groin, some days the hamstrings. It’s different, but I’m working on it. I’m doing a lot of things just to get strong in that area and avoid any injury.

“It’s the first time I’ve had this, but what I can say? I’m just working to get better. It just started in Spring Training. I don’t know why. I’ve never felt that before. I’m doing treatment and working on it and it seems like every day I’m a little better.”

And, yeah, it’s frustrating, but Gutierrez is trying once again to stay positive.

“The last two-to-three years have been really tough on me and I’m trying to be positive and focus on the things I need to do to be on the field,” he said. “Nobody wants to be injured. I don’t want to be like that. I want to be an every-day player and be ready to play.”

This was the first time we’d had a chance to talk to Gutierrez since he got robbed of a home-run saving catch by a fan in Rangers Ballpark on Saturday night, so I asked about that and he said, indeed, he thought he was going to bring that one back.

“I’m pretty sure I could catch that ball,” he said. “I don’t understand how they let those people go in there doing the games. I got a little mad at it, because I knew I could catch that ball. I think I hit his glove.

“I was focused on the ball,  I didn’t know the guy was there. As soon as I climbed the wall and put my glove out I felt like I hit something. I turned around the guy was jumping around.”

And if he thought that was crazy, wait until these three upcoming games at Minute Maid Park, where there’s a hill in center field and crazy outfield walls that can lead to some bizarre bounces.

Here’s the full lineup for today’s game , the Mariners’ first visit to Houston since 2007, as Felix Hernandez takes another shot at his 100th career victory.

Right-hander Brad Peacock (1-1, 5.27 ERA) is on the mound for the Astros.

Franklin Gutierrez CF
Kyle Seager 3B
Kendrys Morales DH
Michael Morse RF
Justin Smoak 1B
Dustin Ackley 2B
Jesus Montero C
Endy Chavez LF
Brendan Ryan SS

Felix Hernandez P

1 Comment

30 yrs old + DL x 5 in 3 yrs = bye bye

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