UPDATE: Gutierrez has a pectoral injury. The Mariners are awaiting results of an MRI. That’s definitely not good news, we saw how a pectoral injury sapped Tarvaris Jackson’s arm strength.
3:03 PM PST
Earlier today Franklin Gutierrez appeared hurt when making a throw from center field. From Geoff Baker’s blog:
Gutierrez felt something in his shoulder — or, at least in that immediate vicinity (could be upper back, or rib cage, too, who knows?) — while throwing during drills today. He left to get it checked out. Darren Ford will replace him in CF for today’s intra-squad game.
Unfortunately for the Mariners, they don’t really have a great MLB-ready prospect to take his place if he’s injured badly. Michael Saunders, Trayvon Robinson, Casper Wells, and Darren Ford can all likely handle the position defensively, but none is as good or polished offensively as a healthy Gutierrez has been prior to last year.
For Gutierrez you have to hope that the injury isn’t serious. He’s spent most of the past two years battling stomach ailments that caused him to lose a lot of weight, and seemed to sap his power and generally hinder his production. Reports that he’d come to camp having recovered all that weight and added a little on top of that began speculation that this could be a big return season for Guti. Shoulder injuries are never good. They are one of the structural points that fail often in throwing athletes, and when they fail they take a long time to recover from.
In the mean time, Saunders, Ford, Wells, and Robinson will all by vying for the same position.