MLB Injury Report: Why Mariners Fans Have Seen the Last of Franklin Gutierrez

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MLB Injury Report: Why Mariners Fans Have Seen the Last of Franklin Gutierrez
Otto Greule Jr/Getty Images

Well, that was about as short lived as humanly possible.

Just two days after returning from the 60-day designated list, Franklin Gutierrez' is officially back on the 15-day disabled list with a hamstring injury. The initial diagnosis does not look good:

Wedge says it will be 3 or 4 days until team can get a good look at Gutierrez's hamstring and properly assess it. He'll be out a while.

— Geoff Baker (@gbakermariners) June 25, 2013

For a Mariners team that was desperately looking for another offensive spark, Gutierrez' injury marks another disappointing chapter over the last three seasons with Seattle. This one very well could be his last.

With Gutierrez' roster spot open, the Mariners have officially recalled Dustin Ackley, who will be expected to man the outfield, according to Greg Johns of MLB.com:

Dustin Ackley will play outfield, with rookie Nick Franklin playing well at second base.

— Greg Johns (@GregJohnsMLB) June 25, 2013

As Greg Johns points out, Franklin's emergence at second base has helped pave the way for Dustin Ackley's move back to the outfield. Ackley originally played in the outfield as a freshman at the University of North Carolina, before a shoulder surgery forced him to move to first base. 

Seattle fans will certainly be interested to see how Ackley plays in the outfield for the M's, but the real story here is the on-going health problems for Gutierrez.

Once considered one of the best young outfielders in the game, Guti has struggled to stay healthy for the Mariners over the last three seasonsspending more than half of that time on the DL:

This is Franklin Gutierrez's sixth DL stint in past 3 years. Has played just 150 of team's last 400 games.

— Greg Johns (@GregJohnsMLB) June 25, 2013

Over the years, Gutierrez has suffered from a wide array of injuries that have included irritable bowel syndrome, a concussion, pain in his throwing arm and his recent string of leg and hip injuries. These most recent incidents have been attributed to a genetic disorder that has caused inflammation in his joints, which Gutierrez had recently started taking medicine for.

Will Franklin Gutierrez Ever Play for the Mariners Again?

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At this point, one has to start to wonder whether or not this will be the last time Seattle fans see Gutierrez patrolling the outfield at Safeco. With the season already in jeopardy, it would not be a shock to see the Mariners look to give other players a chance in the outfield moving forward, especially with Guti's contract set to expire at the end of this season.

Dustin Ackley will most likely see the majority of the time in center moving forward, with young players such as Abraham Almonte, Stefen Romero and possibly Julio Morban seeing time in the outfield this season as well.

Either way, Franklin Gutierrez' latest setback may signal the end of his time in Seattle. As much of a fan favorite as he was, Gutierrez will most likely go down as just another disappointment in an ever growing list for Mariners fans.

For more Mariners coverage and baseball jargon, follow me on Twitter. You'll be glad you did.

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