The Mariners Monday activated OF Franklin Gutierrez after recalling him from a rehabilitation assignment in AAA Tacoma, and, unsurprisingly, designated RHP Aaron Harang for assignment. Gutierrez has been penciled in as the right fielder for the opener of a three-game series against the Texas Rangers Monday night at Safeco Field. He will bat third.
Harang’s replacement in the Mariners’ rotation was not announced, but a possibility is prized prospect Taijuan Walker, who has pitched well in Tacoma.
Gutierrez has spent most of the season on the disabled list battling right hamstring issues. He was on the disabled list twice this season with a strained right hamstring: May 16-June 2, and June 25-today. The DL stints included four rehabilitation assignments to Tacoma: May 16-June 2; June 12-22; July 18-Aug. 6 and Aug. 11-25.
On the last assignment, Gutierrez hit .179 (7-for-39) with five runs, four doubles, three RBIs, five walks and 13 strikeouts. In 47 games with the Rainiers overall, he hit .211 (41-for-194) with 16 doubles, three home runs 25 RBIs, 15 walks and 60 strikeouts.
Gutierrez has played 18 games with the Mariners this season, posting a .267 average (16-for-60) with four doubles, five home runs, 11 RBIs, two walks and 15 strikeouts. The Mariners have an option for next year on Gutierrez’s contract for $7 million, but unless he shows something positive in the final month, the Mariners are unlikely to pick up his option
Harang, 35, started 22 games for Seattle, compiling a 5-11, 5.76 mark. In 120.1 innings, he allowed 133 hits and 77 earned runs. He was the starter and loser Sunday when the Mariners fell to the Angels 7-1. He allowed seven earned runs on nine hits in 5.2 innings and drew sharp criticism from manager Eric Wedge.
Harang allowed seven earned runs in three of his past five starts and hasn’t won since July 22 vs. Cleveland. He had two complete-game shutouts earlier in the year, May 27 vs. San Diego and June 11 vs. Houston
Seattle has 10 days to trade, release or outright the contract of Harang to the minors.
Claim put in for Morales
Fiox Sports reporter Jon Paul Morosi said that a waiver claim was put in on Mariners designated hitter Kendrys Morales. That doesn’t mean he is going anywhere — many players are put on waivers before the Aug. 31 trade deadline, then pulled back — but it is possible that a trade could be worked out with the claiming team.
The Mariners could also let the claim go through, and the new team would be responsible for his remaining salary. Or the Mariners could decide to keep Morales and let him go after the season into unrestricted free agency.
Any trade must be done by Saturday for the player to be eligible for post-season play.