May 23, 2012, 1:50 PM EDT
Franklin Gutierrez hasn’t played since September 4 of last season and hasn’t played well since 2010 due to a series of injuries and health problems, the latest of which are a partially torn pectoral muscle and plantar fasciitis.
He’s finally making some significant progress, with Josh Liebeskind of MLB.com reporting that Gutierrez took live batting practice yesterday and has also been cleared to resume running.
In terms of when the Gold Glove-winning center fielder might actually play again, no one seems to know yet and Gutierrez explained that “the last two years have been really tough for me … imagine two years without being healthy at all.”
Gutierrez’s absence has led to Michael Saunders starting 40 of 45 games in center field for the Mariners, but he’s hitting just .224 with four homers and a .700 OPS and is probably better suited for a corner spot defensively.
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