Originally posted on SeaTown Sports  |  Last updated 4/24/13
Photo Credit: Pat Sullivan/Associated Press Franklin Gutierrez has been known to be a fragile player over the past couple years, not even coming close to playing a full season. But in his first two years in Seattle, he sat out only 19 games total, yet in his last two he has missed over 100. At this point, Seattle fans have simply begun to expect an injury from Guti, and this year is no different as he sat out a few games earlier in the season with some leg soreness and now, most notably, has been sent to the DL for a hamstring injury. With Michael Saunders already on the DL, the Mariners outfield is all of a sudden lacking depth, something it had plenty of before the season. Losing two of three starting outfielders can do that to a team, and with Michael Morse being in the middle of a slump since his return from a pinkie injury, all members of the opening day outfield for the Mariners are either hurt or not performing. Injuries happen to every team, but what’s important is how the team responds to these injuries. Can guys step up? The starting outfield will most likely be Endy Chavez in center with Raul Ibanez/Jason Bay in left and Michael Morse in right. Although Gutierrez and Saunders haven’t been able to keep the production consistent because of injuries, they have been two of the better hitters on the Mariners, so losing them is a big loss, especially considering who is coming in to replace them. Bay is a new addition, and after having a great year with the Red Sox (over 30 homers and 110 RBIs) several years ago, his production has disappeared. Chavez is a bit of a liability at the plate as well. He has bounced around the league and has not been able to maintain any consistent success. Outfielders aside, the younger players need to start stepping up. Kyle Seager has been fantastic of late, and shows no signs of letting up, and even Dustin Ackley, Justin Smoak and Jesus Montero have hit balls hard recently. But this isn't the minor leagues, thus, consistency is key. And right now, the Mariners don't have that.
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