UPDATE: Shannon Drayer of ESPN 710 in Seattle reports that Gutierrez will be sent out for further evaluation, possibly to the Mayo Clinic.
11:15 AM: Things were looking up earlier this week when we heard Franklin Gutierrez was scheduled to work out with the Mariners and possibly head out on a minor league rehab assignment. However, it’s obvious he’s not back to 100 percent quite yet.
Mariners manager Eric Wedge told Robert Falkoff of MLB.com that Gutierrez was scratched from a rehab appearance with Single-A High Desert last night with more stomach problems.
“We had hopes of him going out and playing, but he just was not feeling well at all today,” Wedge said.
Gutierrez is scheduled to be reevaluated at some point today. The Gold Glove center fielder has dealt with stomach problems dating back to last season, but told reporters earlier this week that he was feeling better and had begun to put back on some of the 15 pounds he had lost.
Former Angels outfielder Jabari Blash has signed a one-year deal with the Tohoku Rakuten Golden Eagles of Nippon Professional Baseball, the team announced Friday. Per the Japan Times, the deal is said to be worth around $1.06 million. Blash was released from his contract with the Angels at the end of November.
The 29-year-old outfielder has had a rough go of it in the majors, where he failed to duplicate the promising results he delivered in the minors. While he consistently batted above .250 with 20-30 home runs per season at the Double- and Triple-A level, he petered out in back-to-back gigs with the Padres and Angels and slumped toward a .103/.200/.128 finish across 45 PA for Anaheim in 2018.
The hope, of course, is that the environment in NPB will help him get a better handle on his issues at the plate — in a best case scenario, resulting in a full-scale transformation that could make him more marketable to MLB teams in the future. To that end, Blash expects to be utilized as a cleanup batter in the Eagles’ lineup and will focus on assisting the club as they make a run toward the Japan Series.