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.
Astros’ star second baseman José Altuve underwent surgery on his right knee, MLB.com’s Brian McTaggart reports. Neither the specifics of the surgery nor a concrete timetable for the infielder’s recovery have been officially confirmed by the club yet.
Altuve, 28, suffered the injury in July after he jammed his knee on a close play at third base. Even after he completed an initial 3.5-week stint on the 10-day disabled list, chronic knee pain continued to dog him in the months that followed. As manager A.J. Hinch told reporters on Thursday, he would have held the second baseman out of the lineup under any other circumstances, but instead chose to commend Altuve for showing up and pushing through the pain as the Astros tried for a repeat championship title this postseason.
Per McTaggart, the Astros expect Altuve to make a full recovery by spring. The perennial All-Star infielder finished his 2018 run with a .316/.386/.451 batting line, 13 home runs, and an .837 OPS through 599 plate appearances. He fared slightly worse during Houston’s ALDS and ALCS campaigns, slashing .265/.324/.412 with three extra-base hits over 37 PA. The Astros were eliminated by the Red Sox during Thursday’s 4-1 loss in ALCS Game 5.