Gutierrez Thriving

The Rainiers dropped their fourth straight one-run game on Wednesday night – and this one was unlucky; check the game story down below – but they do have some positives right now.

One of the positive notes is the play of outfielder Franklin Gutierrez, who has looked really solid at the plate despite taking the entire 2014 season off.

Gutierrez had two more hits last night. The second one was an opposite-field line drive double over the right fielder’s head which hit the base of the wall on the fly. This two-run double tied the game in the eighth inning.

He’s started six of the seven games so far and is batting .409, with nine hits in 22 at-bats. Five of his nine hits have gone for extra bases (four doubles, one homer). He’s driving the ball to all fields – he also hit a very long double to right in El Paso earlier on the trip.

Mariners fans know Gutierrez as a center fielder, but he has played left field in five of the six games. He has one game in center, but James Jones has seen the majority of the starts there.

It’s good to have a healthy Gutierrez in the lineup and producing. Maybe the SABR Biography* on his major league career can’t be written just yet.

RAINIERS ROUND-UP

Yesterday: Albuquerque beat the Rainiers for the third straight day, 7-6. All three wins have been by one run.

Rehabber: Chris Taylor went 1-for-3 with a walk and scored a run. He played the entire game at shortstop for the first time on his rehabilitation assignment.

Injury Update: James Jones returned to the lineup last night, but Stefen Romero missed his second straight game with back tightness.

Today: Tacoma (2-5) at Albuquerque (5-2), 11:05 AM (Pacific).

Opponent Affiliation: Albuquerque is now the Colorado Rockies farm club.

Starting Pitchers: RHP Sam Gaviglio (1-0, 0.00) vs. LHP John Lannan (0-0, 0.00)

This is an interesting match-up as each pitcher tossed shutout ball in his season debut. Gaviglio went five scoreless at El Paso and Lannan delivered six shutout against Reno. Gaviglio is a Triple-A rookie and Lannan has lots of Major League experience.

Hot Rainiers: Jesus Montero is the last man standing in the “get a hit in every game” club. He went 1-for-4 with 2 RBI yesterday and has hit safely in all seven games.

Look Out For: A sweep. Yuck. The Rainiers made it through the entire 2014 season without being swept. The last time they were swept was July 30 to August 2 of 2013, when Omaha wiped ’em out in a four-gamer at Cheney Stadium.

Broadcast: The pregame show starts at 10:50 AM (Pacific) on South Sound Sports 850 AM. The broadcast also streams online via the TuneIn app – just click here.

PCL Scoreboard: follow all Pacific Coast League games in real-time with links to Gameday screens right here.

Links:

  • The Rainiers game story from The News Tribune explains how the team got unlucky on Wednesday.
  • Tacoma catcher John Baker told the Albuquerque Journal about how Mixed Martial Arts training helps him with the mental aspects of baseball.
  • The Mariners were swept by the Dodgers and get a needed off-day to regroup today. They start a nine-game homestand on Friday.
  • Lloyd McClendon is committed to Fernando Rodney as his closer, Bob Dutton writes in his Mariners Notebook.
  • Just nine games into the season, this ESPN writer says all of the Mariners biggest preseason concerns have been the team’s biggest problems so far.
  • In the PCL, Fresno scored seven runs in the first inning didn’t actually beat Salt Lake until the 11th inning, 9-8. Matt Duffy went 5-for-6 and started the winning rally. Salt Lake starter Andrew Heaney – a highly regarded prospect – didn’t make it out of the first inning.
  • El Paso’s bullpen stepped up in a 4-2 win over Reno.
  • Sacramento topped Las Vegas, 4-3. The River Cats have the best record in the Pac-North at 5-2.
  • Memphis first baseman Xavier Scruggs homered twice in a 4-2 win over Omaha.
  • Round Rock infielders Ed Lucas and Tommy Field had big games to help the Express win at Colorado Springs, 9-4. The story focuses on Sky Sox closer David Goforth.
  • It was 2001 all over again in Oklahoma City, when Barry Zito and Freddy Garcia squared off last night. Both pitchers were long gone when the Dodgers Kike’ Hernandez won it with an RBI single in the 10th.
  • Vinny Rottino had the game-winning hit in a 3-2 New Orleans victory over Iowa.

The team flies home after this day game, and we’ll be all set for the home opener at Cheney Stadium on Friday night. It’s going to be a great one!

* none of the Rainiers coaches have SABR Biographies yet, but Jaime Navarro‘s father (and former Tacoma Giants pitcher) Julio Navarro does.

One Response to Gutierrez Thriving

  1. Ron says:

    It is tough to take any numbers seriously with the park factors of the first two series for the Rainiers so far. Aside from his numbers, how has Gutierrez handled the outfield, how is he running? Does he look healthy and is he missing any time do to health concerns?

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