Thursday, March 24, 2011

MARINERS: Franklin Gutierrez still ailing

If you’ve been following the Mariners at all during spring training, you would know that Franklin Gutierrez, the M’s golden glove center fielder, has been dealing with stomach issues. It’s been one of the biggest stories in camp, and could continue to be a headache for the Mariners as we head towards the regular season.

“He can play if we needed him to, he's just not feeling too great,'' Jack Zduriencik said this morning.

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At this point, it's causing a pretty serious wrinkle in making out the roster.
Michael Saunders will likely fill in for Guti if he’s not ready to play by April 1st, the Mariners opener vs. Oakland. Ryan Langerhans could also share time as a centerfielder.

Franklin has dealt with stomach problems all spring training, even having to go back to Seattle for a few days to consult with a doctor. It’s really been a rough spring overall for Gutierrez, who also left camp for a few days to visit his Father-in-Law who got hit by a foul ball.

"We're hoping to get some answers shortly,'' Zduriencik said. "But you have to keep your other options open, frankly, because he (Gutierrez) hasn't played a whole lot and he isn't feeling all that good. So, right now, it's all up in the air.''

"We've got people looking at it, and Franklin has had more tests," Zduriencik also said. "We want to get a handle on this so it's not an issue for Franklin, and we want to get him comfortable again."

Reach Nathan Parsons at