Mariners manager Eric Wedge announced that center fielder Franklin Gutierrez will be activated from the disabled list and will start in Wednesday's game against the LA Angels. Reliever Tom Wilhelmsen will be sent down to play with the Mariners AA Minor League affiliate, the Jackson Generals (Tennessee). Wilhelmsen will join the Jackson rotation to work on becoming a starter.
Gutierrez has played six straight games for the Tacoma Rainiers through Monday. The Mariners starting center fielder has not seen the field yet with the major league club this year due to stomach problems. It was not until late April when doctors diagnosed Gutierrez with irritable bowel syndrome. In an 11 game rehab stint with the Rainiers, Gutierrez went 11-40 and drew six walks.
With Gutierrez back as the Mariners starting center fielder, Carlos Peguero, Mike Wilson and Michael Saunders will all split time in left field.
Wedge said that Gutierrez would get some days off in his first few weeks with the Mariners. For the days when Gutierrez will not start, Saunders will most likely get the start despite his struggles at the plate. Saunders is only batting .171.
Wedge said before Monday's game that Mike Wilson can also play center field if needed,
"He played a lot in center field (at Class AAA Tacoma). With Greg Halman being hurt, they’ve had to work people in and out of there in center field, and Mike’s been part of that mix."