At long last, the Mariners have activated outfielder Franklin Gutierrez from the 60-day disabled list, reports Ryan Divish. Gutierrez had been sidelined since April 22 with a strained right hamstring, just the latest in a series of injuries that has cut into a majority of the 30-year-old’s playing time over the last three years. Since 2011, Gutierrez has played in 148 of a possible 399 games (37%).
Gutierrez will start in center and bat sixth tonight, attempting to pick up where he left off. He had an .823 OPS through his first 57 plate appearances of the 2013 season.
In additional roster news, the Mariners designated Eric Thames for assignment and placed Michael Morse on the 15-day disabled list with a strained right quad.
Athletics right-hander Jharel Cotton will undergo Tommy John surgery, per an announcement on Saturday. Cotton initially experienced some elbow soreness during a Cactus League start earlier this week and was officially diagnosed with a strained ulnar collateral ligament and strained flexor muscle on Thursday. He’ll be out of commission until 2019 at the earliest.
This isn’t the first time Cotton has dealt with elbow issues. According to MLB.com’s Jane Lee, he had screws inserted in his right elbow after sustaining a stress fracture in 2013 and suffered some minor elbow discomfort again last fall. Prior to his diagnosis, the 26-year-old was poised for his third run with the A’s in 2018. He pitched his first full season with the club in 2017, turning in a 5.58 ERA, 3.7 BB/9 and 7.3 SO/9 in 24 starts and 129 innings.
Susan Slusser of the San Francisco Chronicle adds that the team is open to adding pitching depth this spring, though they’ll wait to see if the price goes down on some free agents first. Barring that, right-handed long reliever Andrew Triggs could be tabbed to fill the fifth spot in the rotation.