SEATTLE -- Mariners center fielder Franklin Gutierrez was recalled from his Minor League injury rehab assignment Monday, but he was not activated from the disabled list as he continues dealing with lingering hamstring problems.
Gutierrez has missed 35 games on the disabled list and his 20-day Minor League rehab stint expired Monday, but he's not ready yet to play on a daily basis and likely will need more time, according to trainer Rick Griffin.
"He went down [to Tacoma] with a hamstring injury, and he still feels it on occasion," Griffin said. "He's not bouncing back as quickly in terms of being able to play back-to-back days. He's played three games in a row one time and we've had to put him in at DH several times because he's come to the park and his leg hasn't felt that good.
"We don't want that situation," Griffin said. "We want to build his leg strength better and be able to play consecutive days. So we'll take 4-5 days and do some more strengthening and give him a little blow from running around on the field and hopefully he'll go back down there and feel better. His leg isn't completely recovered yet."
Gutierrez hit .246 with one home run and 11 RBIs in 14 games with Tacoma.
The Mariners can file a request to MLB for Gutierrez to get up to another 20 days on a rehab stint, if necessary. He's sat out the past two games with Tacoma and will be given a few more days off after being evaluated by team physician Ed Khalfayan on Monday afternoon.
Gutierrez, 30, has played in just 148 games for the Mariners since the start of the 2011 season because of five different extended stints on the disabled list.
"Every problem he's had for the last three has been addressed," Griffin said. "He just told me his hips and legs feel good, other than his hamstrings."
So when will the Mariners know that the former Gold Glove outfielder is ready?
"When he comes to the ballpark and tells you nothing is bothering him more than one day in a row," Griffin said.
Wedge's confidence in Wilhelmsen unmoved
SEATTLE -- Mariners closer Tom Wilhelmsen endured his third blown save in his last four chances in Saturday's 5-4 loss to the Twins, but manager Eric Wedge is sticking with the hard-throwing right-hander.
Wilhelmsen responded by notching his 13th save in Monday's 4-2 win against the White Sox, allowing a run in the final frame but still managing to hold on to close out the victory.
"This was pretty important," Wilhelmsen said. "You've just got to battle through your struggles and it felt pretty good, as I have in the past. It's just nice to see for once things go the right way in the ninth for a little bit."
"The other night it was just location," Wedge said before Monday's game. "He just wasn't hitting his spots, he fell behind and we've never really seen that from him before. It was just one of those days where he was just off. He was unable to find it. Having said that, he was still one pitch from getting a save."
Wedge has been criticized in some quarters for not getting Wilhelmsen out of Saturday's game after he walked the bases full. He then gave up a sacrifice fly to cut the lead to one, then a two-run walk-off triple. Rookie Yoervis Medina was warming in the bullpen at the end, but Wedge didn't want to bring in the rookie with the bases loaded over a proven closer in Wilhelmsen.
"Somebody made the comment, 'Why didn't you get him out of there after the first two guys walked?'" Wedge said. "That would have meant having somebody up in the bullpen when he walked to the mound. You're not going to do that to your closer who has been one of the best in the game. That's not exactly a confidence booster.
"You've got to let it play out a little bit and you've got to give him a chance to do it. It's not going to always be a clean ninth inning in Major League Baseball. Tommy has just done it quite a bit. You have to remember, the night before he closed with three outs on nine pitches. The previous outing he struggled in San Diego. But he's not too far removed from success. It's just a matter of getting back out there. He's a strong kid."
Franklin's big bat wastes no time slugging away
SEATTLE -- With only 190 pounds packed onto his 6-foot-1 frame, Mariners second baseman Nick Franklin isn't built like a player who causes opposing pitchers' palms to sweat and outfielders to nervously back their way to the warning track.
But while Franklin's appearance may never cause eager young fans in the outfield to raise their gloves in anticipation, it probably should. The switch-hitting second baseman has shown the power of a larger man since being called up to the Mariners last Tuesday.
After slugging .478 in Triple-A Tacoma with four home runs, Franklin has already hit two homers for Seattle. Both came at the expense of the San Diego Padres on May 30. For perspective, only superstars Ken Griffey Jr. and Alex Rodriguez had multi-homer games for the organization at a younger age than Franklin. Entering the team's series with the White Sox on Monday, the 22-year-old had the team lead with a .381 on-base percantage, and a .588 slugging percentage.
"He's got a lot of torque, he's got some bat speed, he's aggressive," manager Eric Wedge said. "You know bat speed is the name of the game, and he's up there hunting the fastball, hunting the ball."
For his part, Franklin believes the source of his surprising slugging is quite simple.
"I just square up. I'm not a big guy, but I square my shoulders to the ball and that does it," Franklin said.
• Right fielder Michael Morse was not in the lineup for a fifth straight day on Monday due to a strained right quadriceps, but worked out in the pool and took batting practice and is shooting for a mid-week return, according to Wedge.
• Jason Bay had eight home runs going into Monday's game, and all eight have been solo shots, which is tied for the second most in the American League behind the 13 of Baltimore's Chris Davis.
• Saturday will be Fight Hunger Day at Safeco Field as the Mariners join Northwest Harvest and 97.3 KIRO-FM for their annual food and donation drive prior to a 1:10 p.m. game PT against the Yankees. Volunteers will be outside all the entrances to the ballpark accepting donations of cash and non-perishable food items starting at 11 a.m PT.
Greg Johns is a reporter for MLB.com. Follow him on Twitter @GregJohnsMLB as well as his Mariners Musings blog. Jacob Thorpe is an associate reporter for MLB.com. . This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.