Franklin Gutierrez, who had all sorts of health problems last season but was said to be at full strength this spring, left Mariners camp this morning in a car driven by the team’s trainer.
No further details are known yet, but when asked about the situation by Geoff Baker of the Seattle Times general manager Jack Zduriencik said: “I can’t comment on it at this time.”
Baker speculates that “if this was a routine examination not worthy of concern, Zduriencik would have said so.”
Gutierrez hit just .224 with .534 OPS last season and missed 70 games with a significant stomach problem and an oblique injury, giving him back-to-back disappointing years following a breakout 2009 season in which he hit .283 with 18 homers and a .764 OPS while winning a Gold Glove award for brilliant defense in center field.
UPDATE: Baker says Gutierrez hurt his shoulder while making throws from the outfield.
UPDATE: Welp, Hécto Gómez may not have this one right. Scott Mitchell of TSN is reporting that it’s “highly unlikely” Guerrero is recalled unless some sort of injury occurs, so I suppose we should all stand down.
Anyone up for keeping him down until the Super Two cutoff in June?
3:35 PM: Héctor Gómez, a baseball writer from the Dominican Republic, reports that The Blue Jays will call up Vladimir Guerrero Jr. He will reportedly make his MLB’s debut on Tuesday. The Blue Jays have not confirmed this yet, but I’m sure we’ll hear sometime this weekend.
As we’ve noted over and over, Guerrero has nothing left to prove in the minors and has not had anything to prove there for some time. Guerrero is currently 7-for-17, with a line of .412/.500/.824 in five Triple-A games this year. In one he hit the ball clear the heck out of the stadium. This coming off a 2018 season in which he hit .381/.437/.636 with 20 home runs and 78 RBI in 408 minor league plate appearances.
A minor injury in spring training made Guerrero unavailable for Opening Day and gave the Jays cover to keep him down in the minors to start the season. With that Guerrero is ensured of not getting a full year’s worth of service time in 2019 and thus the Jays have obtained a full six years of control of him after this season. As such, there really is no baseball nor business reason to keep him down on the farm any longer.