Franklin Gutierrez’s stomach problems dating back to last season were finally diagnosed as irritable bowel syndrome last month and the Mariners’ center fielder has been activated from the disabled list after missing the first 41 games.
Gutierrez’s production suffered down the stretch last season, but even at less than full strength he almost can’t help but be a huge upgrade over what fill-ins Michael Saunders and Ryan Langerhans gave the Mariners in his absence. They combined to hit just .173 with a .556 OPS that ranks dead last in the league.
When he’s right Gutierrez is a .275 hitter with 20-homer power, 20-steal speed, and exceptional range in center field. He hit well while rehabbing in the minors, so the hope is that Gutierrez is finally healthy.
Stop me if you’ve heard this one before: a Mets player struggles mightily for an extended period, to the point where it seems pretty obvious that something is wrong with him. The team says that he’s merely “sore” or “banged up” or something and the team either plays short-handed for a while or deals with the diminished player taking his hacks. Then, when he is eventually placed on the disabled list, it’s revealed that he has more serious trouble than general soreness or being banged up.
You ask for miracles, Theo, I give you the New York Mets:
He had been put on the DL a couple of days ago, but now it’s clear what the problem is. It may also illuminate why Bruce is hitting just .212/.292/.321 with three homers and 17 RBI in 236 plate appearances this season.
The Mets have not announced a timetable for Bruce.