Gutierrez improving, Montero still not in lineup

Gutierrez improving, Montero still not in lineup

Gutierrez improving, Montero still not in lineup
OAKLAND -- Mariners center fielder Franklin Gutierrez, who is on the disabled list with a concussion, was feeling better on Saturday, but still remains more than a week away from rejoining the club, manager Eric Wedge said.

Gutierrez is on his second seven-day concussion DL stint after getting hit in the head with a pick-off throw by Boston's Franklin Morales on June 29. He would be eligible to return on July 13, the first game after the All-Star break, but Wedge indicated that won't likely happen based on discussions with trainer Rick Griffin.

"Today was his best day," Wedge said. "Talking to Rick, he felt better today than he has. It'll still be a stretch to get him back right after the All-Star break because he's probably going to have to go out and play a couple games [on a Minor League rehab stint].

"He hasn't done anything. So we've got to get him cleared first, and then he can start doing baseball activities."

Meanwhile, Mariners catcher Jesus Montero was out of the lineup on Saturday for the second straight game after suffering a concussion of his own on Wednesday, when he took a foul ball off his mask.

Montero did take batting practice on Saturday for the first time since the blow to his head and will be reevaluated on Sunday. Wedge said he definitely won't catch in Sunday's game, the last outing before the All-Star break, but perhaps would be the designated hitter if he's cleared.