Earlier this week the Mariners announced that center fielder Franklin Gutierrez tore a pectoral muscle, will miss several weeks of Spring Training, and will likely not be ready to start in the season opener. The news was a blow to the Mariners in several respects, the first being that Gutierrez was finally healthy and looking to be an impact player as the season began. The other, a continued blow to the Mariners organization, is the loss of left fielder Greg Halman. Halman would have competed for time in center field with this injury to Gutierrez.
If Spring Training is any indication, the loss of Greg Halman will continue to challenge the Mariners as they embark on the new season. The roster challenge is something that Eric Wedge can handle with the many options available to him for center field (Casper Wells, Trayvon Robinson and Michael Saunders among them), but the emotional challenge before these young men who were incredibly close to Halman is going to be much more difficult to overcome.