SEATTLE – Nobody was saying that Mariners closer David Aardsma’s comeback from hip surgery had hit anything more than a hiccup with the tightness he’s feeling in his right forearm.
But when Aardsma played catch Friday after a few days off and the forearm still didn’t feel good, the Mariners ordered a magnetic resonance imaging exam. He had that test Friday night and the team was awaiting results Saturday.
“We still don’t think it’s anything serious, but we want to take every precaution,” manager Eric Wedge said.
Aardsma made a smooth recovery after surgery on his left hip in early January, and the hip hasn’t given him any trouble. However, he began a rehab assignment last month with the Triple-A Tacoma Rainiers and, after his second outing, felt tightness in the forearm.
He pitched three more games but the forearm continued to trouble him, so the Mariners decided last week to shut him down for a few days. When he tried to play catch on Friday, it still didn’t feel right.
“He was fine at first and then started feeling it tighten up on him a little bit, so we shut him down,” Wedge said. “We were able to get him in to get an MRI last night. We wanted to get it as fast as possible.”
Center fielder Franklin Gutierrez’s comeback after being diagnosed with irritable bowel syndrome has been under the weather lately much worse than he’s been.
Gutierrez is doing as well as can be expected physically, but rainy weather has altered his playing schedule the past two days with the Rainiers. He was the DH Thursday night and tripled in his first at-bat, but was pulled from the game as a precaution because of the wet conditions. Gutierrez was supposed to play seven innings in center field Friday night but was moved to the DH spot again because of rainy weather (he went 0 for 3 with a walk).
Saturday night, knowing there was a 70 percent chance of rain, the Mariners decided not to have him play. If the weather is good, Gutierrez will play center field today and Monday for the Rainiers.
Wedge said he still believes Gutierrez can be able to return before the end of May.
Catcher Miguel Olivo wasn’t in the lineup after playing 11 straight games. Chris Gimenez started at catcher for the first time since April 23. … Ichiro Suzuki played in his 226th consecutive game, going back to Sept. 1, 2009. It’s the second-longest active streak in the major leagues, trailing the 238 games by Matt Kemp of the Dodgers. Ichiro’s streak of 396 games from July 11, 2004, to Sept. 25, 2006, is the longest in Mariners history. … Felix Hernandez’s complete game Friday night was the Mariners’ third this season, tying them with the Angels for most in the A.L.