OAKLAND -- Injured outfielders Franklin Gutierrez and Mike Carp remained behind in Arizona as the Mariners hit the road Thursday. But both players are progressing well and could be ready to return relatively soon, according to manager Eric Wedge.
Gutierrez, who suffered a partial tear of his right pectoral muscle five weeks ago, has been taking batting practice and doing some light throwing in recent days.
Carp sprained his right shoulder diving for a ball in Seattle's Opening Day victory in Tokyo on March 28. He'll start swinging a bat for the first time on Friday. Wedge said both Carp and Gutierrez stood in the box and took pitches from Kevin Millwood during a simulated game on Thursday to start getting their timing back.
Wedge indicated on Wednesday that Gutierrez was a little ahead of Carp, but noted on Thursday that, "Carp is actually moving along faster than we thought," after talking with trainer Rick Griffin.
"They've both been really good with their comebacks so far," Wedge said. "Guti isn't throwing full out yet, but he is throwing. I just want him to keep going. For Carp, it's a big day tomorrow, taking some swings. And Guti's been doing good with that."
Gutierrez is eligible to return from the 15-day disabled list on Monday, which is the start of the Texas series. He won't be ready to return that soon, and likely will need a Minor League rehab stint to get into playing shape after missing almost all of Spring Training.
Carp is eligible to come off the DL on April 13, which would be just in time for the Mariners' home opener. That's a goal he was shooting for as the team departed on its first road swing without him.
"I've watched the last couple years, everybody running out that Opening Day at Safeco, and I've wanted to be a part of that," said Carp, who made the season-opening roster for the first time this year when the club played in Tokyo. "Hopefully, I'm still shooting for that. But it's pretty frustrating. You work so hard and have a plan, and now you're kind of set back.
"It's just part of the game though. It happens. It's just my turn to have it happen, I guess. I've been fortunate to have good health through my career. Luckily, this happened early enough that I can still get almost a full year. I'm only going to miss a few games, as of right now, so that's the plan. I want to hopefully still get in 150-plus games."