Dodgers News: Dave Roberts Remains Mindful Of Franklin Gutierrez’s Illness
Joe Camporeale-USA TODAY Sports

When the Los Angeles Dodgers signed Franklin Gutierrez during the offseason it was with the expectation he would help contribute to the club’s turnaround against left-handed pitching. That arguably was the Dodgers’ weakest point throughout last season.

While the team as a whole is much improved, Gutierrez has yet to make any significant impact. He’s appeared in 23 games and made just 10 starts, the last of which came Sunday, May 28, against the Chicago Cubs. Gutierrez was removed after the top of the first inning.

A shallow fly ball in his direction dropped for a base hit. Initial beliefs were Gutierrez may have aggravated hamstring or hip injuries he’s suffered from this year.

Dodgers manager Dave Roberts later clarified it was instead due to the illness/injury that caused Gutierrez to miss the entire 2014 season. Roberts made his decision for both the club and Gutierrez’s “own health.”

“With Franklin, how he manages it, there are certain days he just can’t go,” Roberts explained. “Each day, I want to make sure I check in with him to see how he’s feeling. Typically it’s been pretty good, but there are days where he doesn’t feel as well.”

The gastrointestinal/autoimmune and arthritic condition has affected Gutierrez’s hips and lower body. He appeared in 59 games with the Mariners in 2015, and 98 last season.

Gutierrez’s one-year contract with the Dodgers includes a $100,000 bonus each for 400 and 450 plate appearances, and a $200,000 bonus for 500 plate appearances.

He’s surpassed 400 plate appearances in a single season just three times (2008-10), and has not logged more than 283 plate appearances since 2011.

Gutierrez is in Monday’s lineup for the series opener against the Washington Nationals.