Not surprisingly, the nerds to write about the Seattle Mariners are also huge fans of the Marvel Cinematic Universe. With “Avengers: Endgame” right around the corner, we are kicking off our new series.
If you missed the synopsis of what this series is about, read the primer here. Basically, we will try to pay a little respect to our fallen Mariners brothers who perished during the playoff drought. Today, we kick off our series with the great centerfielder, Franklin Gutierrez.
Otherwise known as “Guti”, Franklin Gutierrez was a member of the franchise from 2009-2016. Acquired in Jack Zduriencik first trade as Seattle’s GM. Guti burst onto the scene in the surprising season of 2009, slashing .283/.339/.425 with 18 home runs and 16 steals.
But perhaps more memorable was the incredible defense that we were all witness to from the man who soon became known as ” Death to Flying Things”. In 2009, Fangraphs awarded Guti with a +33.4 defensive score, a UZR/150 of 29.0 and crediting him with 33 runs saved. This all added up to a 6.1 fWAR.
Guti quickly became a fan favorite, and although he took a step back in 2010, he collected his first Gold Glove and had quickly established himself as the premier defensive CF in all of baseball. But as happens far too often in Mariners lore, Gutierrez’s star quickly began to flame out.
He battled his way through injuries in 2011, 2012, and 2013, before missing all of 2014 with a condition known as ankylosing spondylitis. The condition is a form of arthritis of the spine and is incredibly painful.
It seemed that all was lost for Gutierrez, but in true superhero fashion, Guti returned to the team in 2015. Though no longer able to dazzle the world with his glove, he still helped the team immensely, slashing .292/.354/.620 in just 59 games.
Guti would saddle up for one more season with Seattle and again was a solid contributor to the club, slashing .246/.329/.452. Overall, Guti appeared in 635 games and each and everyone was a true honor to see him play.
Unfortunately, the star of Franklin Gutierrez burned too bright, and his run was tragically cut short. But for his perseverance and the numerous memorable moments he produced, Guti’s sacrifice is in desperately needs to be avenged.