Gutierrez gets day off as legs continue to be issue

Gutierrez gets day off as legs continue to be issue

ARLINGTON -- Center fielder Franklin Gutierrez wasn't in the Mariners' starting lineup for the fifth time in the past seven days on Friday as he continues dealing with sore legs that have hampered him since Spring Training.

Gutierrez, 30, started nine of the Mariners' first 11 games and came off the bench in the other two, but he's been limited to just two starts and one late-inning relief appearance in seven games since April 12.

"We're still trying to help him with his lower half," manager Eric Wedge said before Friday's series opener with the Rangers. "I think it stems from his hips, where he gets a little out of line and that's what affects his legs. He didn't feel very good yesterday. He feels better today, so we'll see how his [pregame] work goes out here and go from there."

Health issues aren't new for Gutierrez, who had four different stints on the disabled list over the past two seasons when he played just 132 of the 324 games. Wedge acknowledged it makes for a difficult situation, not knowing his availability on a consistent basis.

"We're trying to manage it," Wedge said. "It's tough, but I talked to him again today. We'll just keep communicating with him, the trainers keep working on him and we're hopeful we can get on the good side of this."

Greg Johns is a reporter for Follow him on Twitter @GregJohnsMLB as well as his Mariners Musings blog. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.