LOS ANGELES — The Dodgers recalled utility player Mike Freeman from Triple-A Oklahoma City on Sunday and placed outfielder Franklin Gutierrez on the 10-day disabled list with symptoms of ankylosing spondylitis.
Gutierrez has been dealing with the autoimmune disease, which affects his gastrointestinal tract, throughout the season. Freeman even flew in from Oklahoma City earlier this month as a precaution, then flew back the next day when Gutierrez’s symptoms diminished.
Sunday, with Corey Seager and Yasiel Puig nursing hamstring injuries and being benched as a precaution, the Dodgers couldn’t afford to play without Gutierrez too.
“I had him in there but he just couldn’t get his body going,” Dodgers manager Dave Roberts said. “To give him the 10 days and hopefully allow him to reset, gain strength, and eliminate some of the pain he’s having. Franklin wanted to be in there but I think understanding what’s best for our ball club.”
Freeman, 29, had a .295 batting average in 20 games for Oklahoma City. A middle infielder in the low minors, Freeman has played every position except catcher and pitcher as a professional.
The Dodgers claimed Freeman off waivers from the Seattle Mariners May 26. He hit .067 (2 for 30) in 16 major league games with Seattle this season and played another 15 in the minors.
Gutierrez, 34, is batting .232 with one home run in 35 games. All of his 14 starts this season, and 47 of his 63 plate appearances, have come against left-handed pitchers. Yet Gutierrez batted only .195 against lefties and .333 against righties — an unexpected downturn for a player the Dodgers gave $2.6 million to punish southpaws.
A former Gold Glove winner, Gutierrez has seen his defense diminish in recent years. He had difficulty tracking down a line drive in the left field corner Friday night. Roberts acknowledged that Gutierrez “just hasn’t felt great” in recent weeks and that day games are more of a struggle for him than night…