Center fielder Franklin Gutierrez won’t participate in baseball activities for at least four weeks because of a partially torn pectoral muscle, then will be re-evaluated on a week-to-week basis.
That means Gutierrez, 29, could technically begin playing about the time the Seattle Mariners open the regular season on March 28 in Tokyo – and certainly could join them upon their return from Japan, when they don’t play another game that counts until April 6.
Gutierrez, injured Tuesday while throwing in a routine outfield drill, had an MRI and then flew to Seattle on Wednesday to be examined by team doctor E. Edward Khalfayan.
Barring unforseen complications, the diagnosis means Gutierrez shouldn’t miss more than a week or two of the regular season. In his absence, the Mariners have several players – including Michael Saunders, Casper Wells and Chone Figgins – capable of playing center field.