Gutierrez getting close to rehab assignment

Gutierrez getting close to rehab assignment

KANSAS CITY -- Center fielder Franklin Gutierrez took batting practice on Tuesday for the first time since sustaining a concussion on June 29 and manager Eric Wedge said he's getting closer to returning to game action.

Wedge indicated the Mariners will decide on Thursday if Gutierrez is ready to go out on a Minor League rehab assignment or if he'll stay with the team and continue working out as it travels to Tampa Bay for a three-game series.

"What we want to do is assess where he's at Thursday," Wedge said. "I don't want to get ahead of myself."

The center fielder was hit in the head by a pickoff throw to first base by Boston's Franklin Morales and has been on the disabled list ever since. Gutierrez played just 13 games this season after opening the year on the DL after tearing his pectoral muscle early in Spring Training.