Mariners

Gutierrez Turning Heads In Winter Ball League

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Franklin Gutierrez  (Photo by Stephen Brashear/Getty Images)

Franklin Gutierrez (Photo by Stephen Brashear/Getty Images)

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(CBS Seattle) – Mariners outfielder Franklin Gutierrez isn’t waiting around for Spring Training to warm up.

Gutierrez, who just wrapped up his Venezuelan Winter League season, has everyone in the Mariners organization excited after finishing with a red-hot bat. MLB.com’s Greg Johns reports Gutierrez completed the 22-game season hitting .349 with 13 runs, six doubles, three home runs and 19 RBIs. Between Dec. 18th and the 21st, the speedy outfielder hit .474 with 10 RBIs.

Ever since winning a Gold Glove Award in 2010, Gutierrez has been plagued by injuries. He tallied only 92 games in 2011 and just 40 in 2012.

John speculates that if Gutierrez is “full go,” he’ll fill the center-field spot and allow Michael Saunders to play one of the corners. The Mariners also have Casper Wells and free-agent signees Raul Ibanez and Jason Bay competing for outfield positions, along with Eric Thames, Carlos Peguero and possibly Mike Carp.

(TM and © Copyright 2012 CBS Radio Inc. and its relevant subsidiaries. CBS RADIO and EYE Logo TM and Copyright 2012 CBS Broadcasting Inc. Used under license. All Rights Reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed. MLB.com contributed to this report.)

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