BY John Hickey 02:08PM 03/13/2011

An answer that Guttierez can finally stomach

After extensive tests, Franklin Gutierrez’s stomach problem has been diagnosed as a slow digestive tract.

Franklin Gutierrez's stomach problems have been identified. / Getty Images

PEORIA, AZ. – They like to say the great thing about baseball is that you can see something new or learn something new every day.

Today’s bit of newness is courtesy of Seattle center fielder Franklin Gutierrez. The results on his stomach disorder are in, and it turns out to be something a medical lightweight like me has never heard of before.

Seattle team physician Mitch Storey briefed the Seattle media on Gutierrez’s condition Sunday morning, saying Gutierrez has a “slow digestive tract.’’

Come again?

“There is nothing wrong with him,’’ Storey told mlb.com and the Seattle Times, among others. “He’s not sick. This is just a simple thing. We (ran) a bunch of tests to rule out other things and they came back negative, as we had expected.’’

Gutierrez thought he’d beaten his stomach trouble during the off-season, but it cropped up again early in the spring. Two weeks ago he flew back to Seattle to have the tests Storey alluded to.

What, exactly, is a slow digestive tract?

Well a Google search wasn’t exactly illuminating, linking the condition to everything from anorexia to the need for more fiber in the diet to irritable bowel syndrome.

Storey told the media that of changes to Gutierrez’s diet in combination with medication should relieve Gutierrez from the stomach problems.

“Some of it is food, some of it is how much food he eats at a time,’’ Storey said. “He has to choose food better, quite honestly.

“There’s a lot involved in this to try to allow food to get through his stomach in a timely fashion. The past, because (the digestive tract) was slow, (food to be digested) would back up into his stomach so he could get cramps and not feel good and that would last for a couple of days.’’

Storey said that the condition isn’t going to go away, but that with the proper treatment, it should not be a problem.

NOTES: Seattle made it second set of roster trims Sunday morning. Right-handed pitcher Blake Beavan, who started in Saturday’s win over Oakland, was reassigned to the minor league camp. Another right-hander, Yoervis Medina, was optioned to Class-A High Desert in the California League. … There are now 56 players in the Mariners’ spring camp, 37 players on the 40-man roster, including one (right-handed pitcher Shawn Kelley) on the 60-day disabled list, and 19 non-roster invitees.

Twitter: @JHickey3


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