A little while ago, test results from Seattle suggested that Franklin Gutierrez had a "slow digestive system". This was said to be the problem at the core of his discomfort, and everybody was optimistic that Guti would be able to put it behind him on the right diet and medication, which had already been recommended by his doctors. Indeed, Guti felt terrific for at least a week or three after returning to camp, and we all began to worry about problems elsewhere, taking for granted that Guti would be okay.
Surprise! He's not okay. Guti hasn't been out of the lineup recently because he aggravated his lower back - he's been out of the lineup because his stomach problems have returned. Writes Larry LaRue:
"We've got to get Franklin to a place where he feels comfortable," general manager Jack Zduriencik said. "It's bothering him, and we're waiting for more test results. Franklin doesn't feel strong."
It may have raised some eyebrows when Seattle quickly gave Gutierrez a seemingly conclusive diagnosis after almost a calendar year of tests and dead-ends. Well, here we are, and he's getting more tests.
It's pointless to speculate what's going on. The diagnosis may have been wrong. The diagnosis may have been right, but the recommended treatment course may have been wrong. We'll see where we go from here. This is just assuredly bad news, a few weeks after we all thought we had good news. As long as Guti's still fighting whatever he's fighting, everything's worse because of it, and you feel bad for the man both personally and professionally.
Depending on how things go, Guti may have to start the year on the disabled list, in which case I imagine we'd see the team carry both Ryan Langerhans and Michael Saunders. Or they could carry Sean Kazmar. You never know!