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Pryor ready to begin rehab assignment in Minors

SEATTLE -- The Mariners may have a little extra bullpen depth awaiting them in the second half of the season. Reliever Stephen Pryor, who pitched a simulated game on Saturday, is ready for a rehab assignment according to manager Eric Wedge.

"We're going to send him out this week, he'll probably pitch in [Class A] Everett on Tuesday or Wednesday," Wedge said. "Then we'll go from there, but probably send him to [Triple-A] Tacoma from there. We need to give him some time, but he looked good. He's looked good the last couple outings."

Pryor has been sidelined since April with a torn muscle in his throwing shoulder. In just 7 1/3 innings this season, the righty has allowed just one walk while striking out seven batters. Pryor is known for his powerful arm, and can almost hit triple digits with his fastball.

Also close to returning is center fielder Franklin Gutierrez, who Wedge said will likely be sent to Everett as well, to prepare for a rehab assignment in Tacoma.

Gutierrez has played in only 18 games this season with the Mariners, and only 150 since the start of 2011. A Gold Glove winner, Gutierrez has knocked five home runs and four doubles in those 18 games, while batting .267.

"Gutierrez has been a huge loss for us, we were really counting on him," Wedge said. "It's without a doubt the biggest loss for us this year."

Jacob Thorpe is an associate reporter for
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