Franklin Gutierrez’s ongoing stomach problems continue to stump the Mariners and various doctors he’s seen, so the Gold Glove center fielder is now headed to the Mayo Clinic in Rochester, Minnesota.
Gutierrez, who’s been sidelined since mid-March and also struggled with the stomach issue for much of last season, began working out with the Mariners last week in the hopes of beginning a minor-league rehab assignment before the same digestive tract difficulty shut him down again.
In his absence the Mariners have turned to 31-year-old journeyman Ryan Langerhans as their primary center fielder, with 24-year-old Michael Saunders also seeing significant action there. Together they’ve combined to hit just .167 through 17 games.
Cubs infielder/outfielder Ben Zobrist has been placed on the 10-day disabled list with back soreness. The move is retroactive to April 14. While it doesn’t appear to be the precursor to any serious injury, Zobrist has already missed six straight days of activity after feeling his back tighten up last weekend. Should he see the minimum time on the DL, as expected, he’ll be eligible to return by the start of the Cubs’ series against the Indians on Tuesday.
Prior to his injury, the 36-year-old outfielder raked an impressive .326/.408/.465 with three extra-base hits in 49 plate appearances. He last appeared for the Cubs during their homestand last weekend and helped propel the team to a 14-10 win over the Braves with three hits, two walks and two RBI. Provided that he can remain healthy going forward, it’s a promising start for the veteran outfielder, who has yet to return to the All-Star-worthy numbers he posted with the club in 2016.
With Zobrist sidelined for the time being, Ian Happ and Albert Almora Jr. have shared the leadoff spot and center field duties over the last week. Happ went 0-for-8 with six strikeouts in two games before passing the baton to Almora, who collected five hits and two RBI in 11 at-bats.