According to Geoff Baker of the Seattle Times, Franklin Gutierrez could play in a few minor league games before the end of the week. The Gold Glover is currently on the disabled list with a stomach issue that dates back to last season.
The Mariners are still awaiting the results of one final test before Gutierrez will be cleared for game activity, but he has regained some weight and kept up with baseball-related exercises in recent days.
While Gutierrez is making progress, Mariners manager Eric Wedge said that he won’t play more than a few innings at a time in the minor league games, at least initially.
“Just until he starts to get a few games under his belt,” Wedge said.
For what it’s worth, Baker speculates that his return is still at least a couple weeks away. The Mariners will continue to use Ryan Langerhans and Michael Saunders in center field for the time being.
Dodgers southpaw Clayton Kershaw is nearing his return to the mound, according to club manager Dave Roberts. Both Kershaw (left biceps tendinitis) and fellow lefty Rich Hill (left middle finger blister) are scheduled to toss simulated games on Saturday; depending on the outcome, Roberts says Kershaw could forgo a minor league assignment and slot back into the rotation by Thursday.
Kershaw, 30, was diagnosed with biceps tendinitis as the team closed out their Mexico Series at the start of the month. He has not made a start in several weeks, but was finally able to resume throwing on Sunday and managed to get through two successful bullpen sessions. Though Dodgers’ ace hasn’t been completely injury-free over his 11-year career in the majors, this is the first significant issue he’s had with his pitching arm so far. The team is expected to take every precaution with the lefty, and will likely limit him to just four innings during Saturday’s simulated game.
Prior to his injury, Kershaw was working on another dominant run with the club, sporting a 2.86 ERA, 2.0 BB/9 and 9.8 SO/9 through his first 44 innings of the season. While Kershaw, Hill and left-handed starter Hyun-Jin Ryu served their respective terms on the disabled list this month, the Dodgers utilized a combination of relievers Ross Stripling and Brock Stewart, both of whom impressed during their limited time in the rotation.