Mariners GM: Franklin Gutierrez must play this weekend to avoid disabled list

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Franklin Gutierrez continues to search for an explanation regarding his year-long stomach problems and Mariners general manager Jack Zduriencik indicated that the Gold Glove center fielder is not expected to be ready for Opening Day.

Zduriencik told Geoff Baker of the Seattle Times that Gutierrez probably “would have to play this weekend” in order to avoid beginning the season on the disabled list, which seems highly unlikely given that he continues to undergo medical tests.

Zduriencik added that “there’s nothing we can do except wait” because Gutierrez won’t be cleared for game action until, according to Baker, “the medical tests … indicate that he has a condition that can be managed.” In other words, until they get to the bottom of the situation he won’t be playing and they’ve already been unsuccessfully trying to solve the problem for months.

Gutierrez, who has so far avoided commenting on his status, will likely be replaced in the lineup by Ryan Langerhans and Michael Saunders.

Mike Napoli tore his ACL

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Mike Napoli suffered a torn right ACL and meniscus while playing for Triple-A Columbus the other night. The injury will require season-ending surgery.

Given that Napoli will turn 37 this year, given that he will need 10-14 months of rehab and given that, as it was, he was unable to find a major league gig, it’s almost certain that this injury will end Napoli’s career.

Napoli was off to a 1-for-24 start at Columbus after signing a minor league contract with the Indians this spring. He hit .193/.285/.428 for the Rangers in 2017. If this is it for Napoli, he’ll end his career with a line of .246/.346/.475 with 267 homers and 744 driven in. He appeared in the World Series with the 2011 Rangers, the 2013 Red Sox and the 2016 Indians, winning a ring with Boston.