The Mariners Saturday activated often-injured outfielder Franklin Gutierrez and placed OF Michael Morse on the 15-day disabled list retroactive to June 21 with a strained right quad muscle. Gutierrez, who had been on the 60-day DL, was available for Saturday night’s second game of a three-game series with the Oakland Athletics at Safeco Field.
In an unrelated move, the Mariners designated OF Eric Thames, who has spent the entire season with AAA Tacoma, for assignment.
Gutierrez, 30, has been on the disabled list since April 23 with a right hamstring strain. In 22 games during a rehab assignment with the Rainiers, Gutierrez hit .232 (22×95) with 17 runs scored, six doubles, three home runs and 17 RBIs. Prior to going on the DL, Gutierrez hit .259 (14×54) with four home runs (three leadoff HRs) and 10 RBIs in 16 games.
Morse, 31, has seen only limited action since suffering a right quad injury May 28 vs. the San Diego Padres, appearing in 11 of the Mariners’ last 23 games (at DH, 1B or PH). For the season, Morse is batting .251 (52×207) with 11 home runs and 23 RBIs in 56 games.
Thames, 26, batted .295 (64×217) with 15 doubles, two triples, seven home runs and 33 RBIs in 57 games for the Rainiers. He is currently on the minor league disabled list with a left wrist laceration. Thames was acquired by Seattle July 31, 2012 from the Toronto Blue Jays in exchange for RHP Steve Delabar. The Mariners have 10 days to trade, release or outright Thames’ contract.
The Mariners, who have lost three straight and five of six, will send RHP Aaron Harang (3-7, 5.28) to the mound Saturday to face RHP Dan Straily (4-2, 4.97). The series ends Sunday with a 1:10 p.m. start time at Safeco Field.