Franklin Gutierrez hadn’t played since September of last season because of multiple health problems, the latest of which were a torn pectoral muscle and heel injury, but the former Gold Glove center fielder was finally back in the Mariners’ lineup last night.
At this point it’s impossible to say what to expect from Gutierrez, as he hasn’t been healthy and effective since 2009, but last night he went 1-for-2 with a walk and his first RBI since way back on September 2.
Before all the injuries Gutierrez was a good-hitting, catch-everything center fielder who ranked as one of the most underrated all-around players in the league. If he can get back to anywhere close to that level it would be a huge boost to the Mariners offensively and defensively while also allowing them to shift the hot-hitting Michael Saunders to left field, creating a great defensive trio of Saunders, Gutierrez, and Ichiro Suzuki.
The Cardinals placed right-hander Adam Wainwright on the 10-day disabled list with right elbow inflammation, the team announced Sunday. The move is retroactive to April 20. In a corresponding move, reliever John Brebbia was recalled from Triple-A Memphis.
This is the second time Wainwright has landed on the disabled list in a month, albeit the first time due to issues with his pitching arm. While the 36-year-old hurler doesn’t believe he’ll be out for long, the Cardinals won’t take any chances with a potential elbow injury, especially as Wainwright is just six months removed from arthroscopic surgery on his right elbow. As the extent of the issue has yet to be revealed, no specific timetable has been given for his return to the mound just yet.
The veteran righty earned his first win of 2018 last Tuesday, holding the Cubs to just four hits and one run over five innings during the Cardinals’ 5-3 win. He hasn’t looked particularly dominant on the mound, however, with eight walks and two home runs spoiling 15 2/3 innings of work so far this season.
The Cardinals have yet to announce a replacement for Wainwright in the rotation, but right-hander Jack Flaherty looks to be available to make a spot start if need be. Flaherty is 3-0 through three starts in Triple-A this spring, with a 2.25 ERA, 1.4 BB/9 and 9.0 SO/9 through 20 innings. He logged one start at the major-league level, delivering five innings of one-run, nine-strikeout ball in a 5-4 loss to the Brewers earlier this month.