TEMPE, Ariz. -- Mariners catcher Miguel Olivo missed his eighth straight game Sunday with his strained groin muscle but said he's rehabilitating well and remains optimistic about being ready when the regular season opens in less than three weeks.
Olivo, the team's primary offseason addition, is hitting in the batting cage and playing catch as well as doing some running and exercise in a pool.
"I can't do everything, but today I'll throw at about 70 feet," he said. "I'm running in the pool and it doesn't bother me. I do the squat and it doesn't bother me. I just need to try pushing and running hard, but so far everything is good. We'll see. We still have a long way to go this spring."
Olivo injured the muscle when he tagged up and scored on a sacrifice fly against the Indians on March 5, falling face first on the plate after the leg tightened as he ran home.
It hasn't been easy sitting and watching the past week, he said, but it's helped that the club is 6-0-1 over its last seven games.
"I'm there watching every little thing," Olivo said. "I'm excited for them and proud of the way they're playing. It's amazing."
As for his previous belief that he'll be ready by Opening Night on April 1, he's holding firm.
"God is the only one who knows," he said. "I'm just working hard, but yeah, I think I'll be ready."
Mariners solve Gutierrez's stomach ailment
TEMPE, Ariz. -- Mariners center fielder Franklin Gutierrez, who underwent tests two weeks ago on a lingering stomach problem, has been diagnosed with a slow digestive tract and should be fine now with medication and some dietary changes, team physician Mitch Storey said Sunday.
Gutierrez was bothered by stomach pains much of the second half of last season, and when the problem returned last month the Mariners sent him to Seattle for a battery of tests.
"We think we've made some definitive answers," Storey said. "The bottom line is Franklin doesn't have a fast digestive system and as a result would get stomach cramps and get bloated. As a result of the tests and conclusions we've made working with specialists, dietitians and Franklin on other dietary measures, he's doing much better.
2010 Spring Training - Seattle Mariners
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"We think we have the problem solved for now."
Storey said tests for other more significant problems came back negative.
"This is great news," Storey said. "There's nothing wrong with him. He's not sick. This is just a simple thing."
The Gold Glove outfielder will mostly need to monitor when and what he eats to control the problem.
"Some of it is food and how much he eats at one time," Storey said. "In the past, because his digestion was slow, things would back up into his stomach and he'd get cramps that would sometimes last for a couple days. We fought that all year last year.
"With the combination of medication and dietary changes, he is doing much better. Since he's back from Seattle and we've made these strategy changes, he has felt extremely good."
Gutierrez asked that all questions about the issue be directed to the team physician. He told reporters earlier in camp that he believed the stomach issue played a part in his second-half slump last year because he wasn't able to eat and keep his energy up.
The 28-year-old hit .256 with a .717 OPS in the first half last year, but just .230 with a .601 OPS in the second half. He still won his first Gold Glove after not committing an error in 415 outfield chances.
Vargas armed with confidence, improved curve
TEMPE, Ariz. -- You know it's an efficient day for your starter in Spring Training when he has to go to the bullpen after his stint to get his allotted pitch count in, which was the case Sunday for Jason Vargas after a smooth four-inning effort in the Mariners' 2-0 victory over the Angels at Tempe Diablo Stadium.
Vargas continued his hot Cactus League start with a three-hit outing in which he struck out three and walked none in running his scoreless streak to seven innings.
"He knows what he needs to be successful and does a great job repeating his delivery," manager Eric Wedge said. "He's throwing the baseball where he wants to throw it and making it do what he wants it to do. He's pitching with confidence, and he should. He's proven to himself and this league that he's a quality big league starter."
Vargas retired the final five batters he faced, then went to the bullpen and threw about 20 more pitches to get his required work as he stretches out toward the regular season, where he's in line to be Seattle's No. 2 starter behind Felix Hernandez.
Vargas had a good spring last year as well, but says he's not always a fast starter.
"It's just one of those things where I came prepared and was ready to go," he said.
The 28-year-old lefty unveiled an improving curveball he's been working to add to his normal fastball-changeup-slider repertoire. He threw the pitch four times Sunday, and though just the first was a strike, he'll continue mixing it in.
"We'll keep grinding on it and hopefully it can be something that helps out," he said. "After the first couple innings, I told Adam [Moore, catcher] I wanted to throw a few on the first pitch. He was good with it, and we did. It worked one time and the other times it didn't.
"I don't want to say it could be a huge part, because I don't think that's the type of pitcher I am. I think it can be a good part just because the second, third, fourth time through the lineup it can be a pitch I can throw in there that they haven't seen, something that just changes their eye level. So I think it could help out a lot in the long run."
The Mariners cut two more players from Major League camp Sunday, sending right-handed pitchers Blake Beavan and Yoervis Medina to the Minor League side. Medina was optioned to Class A High Desert. Beavan, who isn't on the 40-man roster, was reassigned to the Minor League camp and will likely wind up at Triple-A Tacoma. ... The Mariners have scheduled a "B" game for Monday against the Padres in order to get some extra work in for their pitchers, with Aaron Laffey, Chaz Roe, Manny Delcarmen, Chris Seddon and Royce Ring scheduled to throw on the San Diego side of the Peoria Sports Complex. ... Former Mariners catcher Dan Wilson arrived at camp to work as a guest instructor. Jay Buhner and Edgar Martinez are scheduled to arrive Monday. No word yet on Ken Griffey Jr.'s plans. ... Shortstop Jack Wilson continued his red-hot spring, going 2-for-3 to raise his average to .476 (10-for-21) in eight games.