Franklin Gutierrez is back!
Gutierrez is here. Rehab assignment is over but he has not been activated. Expect to hear more later. #Mariners— Shannon Drayer (@shannondrayer) June 3, 2013
Will Morse be put on the DL? Is there a trade in the works?
Franklin Gutierrez has to end rehab assignment today but #Mariners not activating him. Will petition MLB for more rehab time. Not ready.— Geoff Baker (@gbakermariners) June 3, 2013
Gutierrez still having problems with "lower half". Any new rehab assignment can't start for at least five days. #Gutierrez— Geoff Baker (@gbakermariners) June 3, 2013
#Mariners trainer Rick Griffin says Franklin Gutierrez still having hamstring issues, but hips and pelvis are fine.— Geoff Baker (@gbakermariners) June 3, 2013
A slight glimmer of positive news, sort of.
We've all wanted to be positive about Franklin Gutierrez's injury past. Over the years, the justifications have rolled in - he's unlucky, he's sick, he has fluke injury in a place he hasn't hurt before, etc. I've often been at the front of those discussions in defending him, because I wanted to believe those things, and these stints on the DL were rarely related. I am not sure I've ever seen a Mariners player more snakebit. It's non-stop with him, and here's yet another setback, more specifically the lack of normal rehab progress as we've seen before with him.
Franklin Gutierrez might have something wrong with him. Most players don't take this long to recover from the injuries he's sustained, even if some of them have been unlucky. He's now having trouble all over his lower half, and can't recover after a normal amount of rehabilitation. A common disorder like Irritable Bowel Syndrome rendered him extremely skinny and weak for over a year. I can't help but think about Rocco Baldelli, who battled many injuries his entire career and had trouble recovering and sustaining energy. He eventually was diagnosed with a mitochondrial disorder, and was forced to retire at age 29. I have absolutely no idea if anything like this is the case for Franklin Gutierrez, but I do know that this isn't normal. I'm not a doctor, I just know we're likely past the realm of bad luck at this point.
Gutierrez is undeniably talented, and in the final year of his contract I hope to enjoy as much death to flying things as possible. What does the future hold for Gutierrez? It's now unlikely he'll be able to get a major league contract this offseason if he doesn't come back and play 50+ games this season. You'd be hard pressed to find an outfielder with more medical red flags outside of Grady Sizemore.
Let's all hope for the sake of his career and Mariners fans everywhere, this season isn't the beginning of the end for his career. There's a chance that it might be. I've moved past hoping he can contribute to the Mariners. I'm just rooting for Franklin Gutierrez at this point, and you should too. And when he comes back to Safeco to roam center field once again, don't miss your chance, because it might be your last.
Get well soon, Guti.