BY John Hickey 01:31PM 02/24/2011

Gutierrez in Seattle as stomach woes resurface

Mariners’ center fielder continues to be dogged by the stomach issues that troubled him in 2010

Franklin Gutierrez is having his stomach problems checked out / Getty Images

PEORIA, Ariz. – Center fielder Franklin Gutierrez flew back to Seattle Wednesday night to have his ongoing battle with stomach issues checked out by the Mariners’ medical crew.

Manager Eric Wedge said Gutierrez probably would be back sometime Friday but he wasn’t a definite to take part in the club’s intrasquad game.

Wedge did say he didn’t believe the issue to be serious, and said “these are just tests on the stomach region to be proactive and try to stay ahead of things.’’

`”We don’t want Guti to have the same issues as he did last year,’’ Wedge said.

The Mariners’ Gold Glove center fielder missed some playing time in 2010 when a stomach flu or virus kept him off the field.

Gutierrez, who said he had been frustrated because he couldn’t get a handle on the issue the second half of the 2010 season despite seeing some medical specialists, said he’d hoped the issue had been resolved over the winter, but that’s clearly not the case.

“He’s been able to do everything,’’ Wedge said, “but we want to be proactive with this, get ahead of it and stay ahead of it. It’s still hanging around, so we sent him to Seattle.’’

Wedge, who also managed Gutierrez in Cleveland, said he’d been planning on giving Gutierrez a little more time off during the season to keep him fresh.

“I felt that was something we needed to do in Cleveland, and it helped him a little bit,’’ Wedge said. “I think it is something we need to do here, too.’’

John Hickey is a Senior MLB Writer for AOL FanHouse (

Twitter: @JHickey3