I like to think that it was Michael Saunders and Mike Wilson going 1-6 tonight with four strikeouts that finally pushed the M's front office over the edge, but even if it wasn't, after the game it was announced that Franklin Gutierrez will rejoin the Mariners on Wednesday, and Tom Wilhelmsen will be sent to AA Jackson as the M's run with a six-man bullpen, at least for the time being.
Guti and his irritable bowels will immediately take over as the team's starting center fielder, with the hope being that a return to the luxury and bright lights of Major League Baseball will make his bowels less irritable and more vivacious, although "vivacious bowels" might well be a synonym for the same condition. I don't know how often Guti's going to be able to play at first, and I don't know how the left field situation is going to sort out with Saunders suddenly looking for room, but that's Eric Wedge's problem. We just get to celebrate the fact that Guti is back, and even if he doesn't hit, I'm not sure we'll even notice.
Guti got into 11 games with the Rainiers during his rehab assignment, batting 11-for-40 with a little bit of power and a little bit of patience. He also made a few highlight catches for good measure. He presumably isn't 100%, but the organization wouldn't have promoted him if he didn't look fit and ready for the job.
As for Wilhelmsen, the writing's been on the wall for the unlikely Spring Training selection for some time now. He's only pitched twice since April 23, and the only reason he hadn't lost his spot until tonight is that the Mariners just didn't have anyone to replace him. He ends his initial Mariners stint with nine walks and eight whiffs over 9.2 innings and he had all kinds of trouble throwing strikes, although on the plus side batters did have some trouble hitting his pitches in and near the zone, presumably because they were surprised.
Wilhelmsen's going to AA to resume working as a starter, which should make a lot of people happy given his potential-laden three-pitch repertoire. The fact that he'll be working as a starter makes his selection out of ST as a reliever somewhat mystifying, but what's done is done and now he's back on the right track. Whether he can cut it as a starter down the road has yet to be determined, but he does have an opportunity, and that opportunity should be exhausted before he's bumped to relief.
So: welcome back, Franklin Gutierrez. Hit home runs. And also take some away. Basically do everything. It'd really be great for us if you would do everything.