Franklin Gutierrez has left Mariners camp in Arizona and returned to Seattle to see a doctor about ongoing stomach problems.
According to Geoff Baker of the Seattle Times the Gold Glove-winning center fielder “has suffered from severe stomach pains since the second half of last season” and has been unable “to find out what the problem is” despite undergoing an endoscopy exam in Venezuela during the offseason.
Baker reports that Gutierrez’s condition is not considered serious at the moment and the Mariners are actually hopeful that he’ll be able to return to camp as soon as tomorrow, although obviously that depends on what, if anything, the doctor finds.
Gutierrez’s amazing defense was finally recognized with the Gold Glove award last season, but he struggled offensively and was particularly unproductive in the second half, which Baker speculates could be due to weight loss as a result of the stomach problems.
Twins senior director of communications Dustin Morse announced that the Twins will honor former C/1B Joe Mauer by retiring his uniform number 7. Mauer announced his retirement from baseball on November 9.
Mauer will join Harmon Killebrew (No. 3), Tony Oliva (No. 6), Tom Kelly (No. 10), Kent Hrbek (No. 14), Rod Carew (No. 29), Kirby Pucket (No. 34), and Bert Blyleven (No. 28) as Twins to have their numbers retired.
Mauer, 35, spent 15 seasons in the majors, all with the Twins. He posted a career .306/.388/.439 triple-slash line with 143 home runs and 923 RBI. He won the AL MVP Award in 2009, won the batting title three times, earned three Gold Gloves and five Silver Sluggers, and made the AL All-Star team six times. Sadly, his career was limited due to injuries, including a concussion that caused him to move from catcher to first base.
Five years from now, Mauer will appear on the Hall of Fame ballot. There will certainly be some arguments for and against his candidacy. He retired with 55.1 career Wins Above Replacement, according to Baseball Reference, which definitely puts him in the conversation. But, as always, there’s never a consensus.