Must C Catch: Gutierrez makes a great diving catch

SEATTLE -- Franklin Gutierrez will likely begin his fourth rehab assignment of the season on Sunday. He is expected to be in the lineup for Triple-A Tacoma as a designated hitter before eventually resuming his role in the outfield. Acting manager Robby Thompson was unsure of the exact timeframe for the oft-injured center fielder, but said that the team will closely monitor his progress.

"He obviously has been working out here and is feeling pretty good," Thompson said. "I assume that he's going to go down and start his rehab again and we'll see. It's a day-to-day thing, really. We'll keep checking in and I'm sure [trainer Rick Griffin] will be in contact with the trainers down there and with Gutierrez himself."

When healthy, Gutierrez is one of the game's premier defensive center fielders, winning the Gold Glove Award in 2007. He contributes with his bat, as well, and is hitting .267 with five home runs in just 18 games this season.

The injury bug has bitten Gutierrez hard, sending him to the disabled list six times over the past two years. In that time, he has appeared in only 58 Major League games.

Worth noting

• Acting manager Robby Thompson said that it is unlikely that the team will have to tweak starting pitcher Erasmo Ramirez's schedule after having him pitch 1 2/3 innings out of the bullpen in Friday night's 10-5 loss to the Brewers. It is still possible that Ramirez, who is penciled in to start against Tampa Bay on Tuesday -- will switch starts with Aaron Harang, who is scheduled to start Wednesday.

"We're still going to see how he feels today," Thompson said. "If he feels fine, we'll see how he is tomorrow whether we flip-flop the two of them. We're not quite sure yet, but as of now we'll just stay as planned."

Ramirez was scheduled to start Friday's game, but was skipped in the rotation to preserve normal rest for the starters following an off-day on Thursday.

Danny Farquhar is adapting well to his new role as the Mariners' closer. The right-hander has retired 22 of the last 23 batters he's faced, and has not allowed a run while converting all three save opportunities.

He ranks third among American League relievers with an average of 13.62 strikeouts per nine innings.