Franklin Gutierrez hasn’t played since September 4 of last season and hasn’t played well since 2010 due to a series of injuries and health problems, the latest of which are a partially torn pectoral muscle and plantar fasciitis.
He’s finally making some significant progress, with Josh Liebeskind of MLB.com reporting that Gutierrez took live batting practice yesterday and has also been cleared to resume running.
In terms of when the Gold Glove-winning center fielder might actually play again, no one seems to know yet and Gutierrez explained that “the last two years have been really tough for me … imagine two years without being healthy at all.”
Gutierrez’s absence has led to Michael Saunders starting 40 of 45 games in center field for the Mariners, but he’s hitting just .224 with four homers and a .700 OPS and is probably better suited for a corner spot defensively.
Jared Diamond of The Wall Street Journal reports that Mets second baseman Neil Walker is expected to undergo season-ending surgery to fix a herniated disk in his lower back. Walker has avoided the disabled list but hasn’t played since last Saturday and has only two starts since August 22.
If Walker does indeed go under the knife, he’ll end his first season with the Mets with a terrific .282/.347/.476 triple-slash line with 23 home runs and 55 RBI in 458 plate appearances. While the Mets couldn’t have foreseen Daniel Murphy having such a terrific season, Walker was more than adequate in Murphy’s shoes at second base.
Kelly Johnson and Wilmer Flores have handled second base in Walker’s absence and will continue to do so through the remainder of the season.
Rockies 1B/OF Stephen Cardullo celebrated his 29th birthday on Wednesday, so the rookie decided to celebrate by homering in both games of his team’s doubleheader at home against the Dodgers.
In the first game, Cardullo pinch-hit for Chris Rusin in the seventh inning and drilled a solo home run off of Casey Fien. In the second game, Cardullo smacked a grand slam to left-center field off of Bud Norris in the first inning.
Cardullo made his major league debut this past Friday. He was hitless in his first five at-bats before singling as a pinch-hitter on Monday.