SEATTLE -- Franklin Gutierrez will likely begin his fourth rehab assignment of the season on Sunday. He is expected to be in the lineup for Triple-A Tacoma as a designated hitter before eventually resuming his role in the outfield. Acting manager Robby Thompson was unsure of the exact timeframe for the oft-injured center fielder, but said that the team will closely monitor his progress.
"He obviously has been working out here and is feeling pretty good," Thompson said. "I assume that he's going to go down and start his rehab again and we'll see. It's a day-to-day thing, really. We'll keep checking in and I'm sure [trainer Rick Griffin] will be in contact with the trainers down there and with Gutierrez himself."
When healthy, Gutierrez is one of the game's premier defensive center fielders, winning the Gold Glove Award in 2007. He contributes with his bat, as well, and is hitting .267 with five home runs in just 18 games this season.
The injury bug has bitten Gutierrez hard, sending him to the disabled list six times over the past two years. In that time, he has appeared in only 58 Major League games.
Jacob Thorpe is an associate reporter for MLB.com. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.Less