TORONTO -- Mariners center fielder Franklin Gutierrez, who has been out for two months with a partially torn pectoral muscle, now is being slowed by soreness in his heel as he continues working in extended spring training in Arizona.
Manager Eric Wedge said Gutierrez has been diagnosed with plantar fasciitis, an injury in the heel that has been bothering him the last few days. The issue can be treated with orthotics in the shoes, but often is a nagging injury that takes time to fully eliminate.
It's just the latest health problem for the 2010 Gold Glove winner, who is trying to get healthy enough to go out on a Minor League rehab stint and remains at least three to four weeks from returning. Gutierrez missed half of last season with a digestive issue and then a torn oblique muscle.
"We're still working on everything with him," Wedge said. "The arm and swing have been really good, but the heel is bothering him a little bit. So we're trying to figure out how to navigate through that."
Meanwhile, left fielder Mike Carp remains on his Minor League rehab stint with Triple-A Tacoma as he returns from a sprained shoulder suffered on Opening Day in Tokyo. Carp has struggled at the plate in his 10-game rehab stint, but did get his first hit in a week in a 1-for-5 outing Thursday in Las Vegas.
Carp can only stay on the Minor League rehab for 20 days, a period that ends on Thursday.
"We'll give him time," Wedge said. "You've only got 20 days down there anyway and he's rapidly approaching that. If we can give him the time he needs to get a little further along with his swing and, more importantly, with his arm, we're going to do it."
Carp played first base on Thursday and Wedge said he'd like to see back-to-back games in the outfield to know that the arm is fully recovered.