Gutierrez had been on the the disabled list (technically the 7-day concussion list) since he was hit in the head by a pick-off throw about 2 months ago. The play looked rather innocent, but it obviously turned out to be a big deal (as concussions usually are). He didn’t have to play out his full rehab appearance (it could have been up to 20 days) in Tacoma, playing just 7 games. He looked to be ready though, playing a little defense and looking decent at the plate. I was a little surprised that the team didn’t wait until September 1st when the rosters expand to 40, but Gutierrez, when healthy, is clearly worthy of a 25 man roster spot on this team.
The more surprising move was Casper Wells going back to Tacoma. While Wells was good coming back from Tacoma the first time, he had been slumping quite a bit and while at one time being an average outfielder, was down to a 90 wRC +. He looks like a pretty good defensive outfielder and even got some time in centerfield in the series against the White Sox. Casper Wells will turn 28 in the off-season. He still won’t be arbitration eligible this off-season, but it looks like Wells is not a key part of the Mariners future. If he was, he wouldn’t be sent down to AAA at age 28 when the Mariners are not in a playoff race.
Of course, we all know of a player who isn’t playing very often (and when he did play on Saturday, he played terrible) and has no place in the Mariners future. Chone Figgins has no position, can’t play shortstop (which is the only reason Kawasaki is on the team), and just cannot hit anymore. He is still owed 8 million dollars next season, but no one needs me to use a bunch of numbers to show that he doesn’t deserve a roster spot. The 40 man roster is completely full, giving the team a lot less flexibility when it comes to roster adjustments in September. Why not designate Figgins to create an open roster spot on the 40 man and allow Wells and Gutierrez to be on the same team. Figgins provides no value. There isn’t a point in keeping him around. Now Wells has to wait until September 3rd, when the Tacoma season ends, to be brought back up. It just doesn’t make any sense to me.