M’s Pre-Season Injury Woes
Seattle Mariners Gold Glove Center Fielder starting the spring off with bad news. Is not the headline we wanted to write today.
The M’s Franklin Gutierrez was ushered off the field today after having difficulty throwing from the outfield.
While the Mariners were hush hush about what the injury may be, speculation was that the pain was centered in his pectoral muscle.
This is potentially devastating news for the 29 year old Venezuelan native who was out for a majority of the 2011 season with a debilitating digestion issues.
Gutierrez appeared in only 92 games for the Mariners last season and hit only a single home run and hit a measly .224 although his bat was starting to heat up toward the end of the year, before he was strained an oblique after swinging his bat too hard.
Why he keeps getting injured in the most mundane and routine ways may be the result of his digestive issues as well. If his body is unable to process the nutrients he needs it would leave him vulnerable to the normal wears and tears that pro ball players undergo in their work.
Guti is a gold glove winner for the M’s providing a much needed defensive edge in the huge outfield of Safeco. His first season with Seattle also showed that he is capable of providing a reasonable amount of offense for the Mariners as well.
In that 2009 year Guti hit .286 with 18 home runs and 70 RBI. Prior to this incident reports were that he looked like he was in the best shape of his career and had locked down the center field spot for the upcoming year.
The team trainers sent Guti for an MRI and his response to questions about his condition was, “we’ll see”.
While it is doubtful that such an injury would knock him out long term, Guti has shown that he really needs the spring to tune up his game and condition himself for the demands of the baseball schedule.
Last spring of course Franklin missed a majority of spring training due to his illness and a family emergency when his father-in-law Luis Salazar (A minor league manager for the Atlanta Braves) was hit in the head with a baseball during training.
If this injury is as serious as it seems there are quite a few youngsters looking to take Guti’s place, the most likely being Trayvon Robinson who has shown good defensive capabilities in center and has the added bonus of being a switcher hitter with power potential.