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Stomach Issue Forces Franklin Gutierrez To Start Season On Disabled List

Seattle Mariners center fielder Franklin Gutierrez will begin the season on the disabled list as the stomach issue which plagued him last season has returned with a vengeance. Gutierrez hit just .245 with 12 home runs and 64 RBI in his sophomore season with Seattle after a hugely successful 2009 campaign, but he was struggling through an as-yet unidentified stomach complaint that left the 28 year-old outfielder exhausted and suffering from severe weight loss.

Doctors in camp believed that they had identified and fixed the issue, diagnosing it as a 'slow digestive tract,' but the problem returned after a week and now Gutierrez is facing at least a week on the sidelines as the Mariners' medical team tries to get to the bottom of the problem. He'll be first eligible to return on April 6th, one week after the start of the regular season.

Other Mariners players who'll be joining Gutierrez in starting the season on the disabled list include closer David Aardsma, pitchers Nate Robertson and Shawn Kelley, and corner infielder Matt Mangini.