Franklin Gutierrez swung at a pitch, missed it, and strained his oblique muscle. He is likely done for the season.
So what is an oblique muscle?
The obliques are part of the abdominal muscles, making a nice cozy family in your center section. Thus they are located between the ribs and plevis and at the waist. Feel free to take a moment and explore and poke around your obliques. There are external obliques ( see above) located just below the skin surface and internal obliques, located behind the external.
Internal obliques. They look furry.
Forceful or suddenly twisting yourself into a pretzel will strain an oblique.
A strain means and big ouwee. Soreness, stiffness, limited mobility.
A muscle is somthing non-athletes wish they had.
No not me.
So put it all together and Franklin hurt himself.
It has not been a good year for Gutierrez. He started the season on the DL with stomach problems that kept doctors busy giving all sorts of tests to find the problem. Appaerently Milk Of Magnesia was not the solution.
Then once healthy he struggled at the plate and when August began he was hitting .191. But in his last 33 games he found his stroke, hitting at a .282 clip. He finishes the year at .224.
The rest of the month the Mariners can play Caper Wells, Treyvon Robinson or Greg Halman, when he is called up, in center.
Franklin’s defense will be msised. He is a Gold Glove center fielder who did not make an error in 2010 in over 400 chances.
He is signed through 2013 with an option for 2014. If one of the rookies sets the world on fire Frankiln could be moved during the offseason. But it would be unwise to give up on him because of his health issues this season.
But it is one of those decisions general managers make. I hope Franklin makes it back.