It looks like the Mariners’ best hitter will join the long list of names on the team’s 10-day injured list.
In the first inning of Sunday’s series finale in Cleveland, Mitch Haniger fouled a 92 mph fastball from right-hander Shane Bieber off the inside of Haniger’s left knee. It immediately dropped Haniger to the ground where he writhed in pain.
Manager Scott Servais and athletic trainer Taylor Bennett immediately rushed to the field to check on Haniger.
After a brief conversation, Servais signaled to the dugout that Haniger would be exiting the game.
Haniger was unable to get to his feet or leave the field without the assistance of Servais and Bennett. The Mariners later announced that Haniger left the game with a left-knee contusion, which was obvious.
Servais said after the game that X-rays on Haniger’s knee came back negative, and he had suffered a deep bone bruise.
“He smoked it,” Servais said. “He hit it pretty good. I think more than anything when that happens and when you hit it that hard right on your knee like that, you get scared. He’s going to be OK. He’s going to be out maybe a day or two, I’m not sure. We’ll take it day to day right now.”
It does seem optimistic to think Haniger will be back in a day or two unless he was at the designated hitter spot. Of course, the timeline to return could change Monday morning. Servais said the team hadn’t scheduled a MRI for Monday, but given the nature of the injury and the location, Haniger may want one to alleviate any concerns.
“We’ll see how he feels tomorrow,” Servais said. “We’ve got a long flight tonight and we’ll wait and see if there’s that much swelling in there or what’s gonna happen there. He smoked it really good and really couldn’t put any weight on it. We were all a little scared. He feels much better about things right now after the initial look at the X-rays, but we’ll just have to wait and see how he feels tomorrow.”
Haniger came into the game with a .259/.310/.518 slash line with 15 doubles, a triple, 16 homers and 40 RBI in 274 plate appearances. Sunday was his 64th game played, which is one more than he played in his 2019 season that prematurely ended when he fouled a 93 mph fastball from Justin Verlander into his groin, suffering a ruptured testicle.
That injury led to multiple surgeries that also caused him to miss the shortened 2020 season.
Infielder Jack Mayfield was claimed off waivers by the Angels. The Mariners designated him for assignment earlier in the week after acquiring first baseman Jake Bauers in a trade with Cleveland.
Mayfield started the season with the Angels, playing in two games. Seattle claimed him off waivers. He appeared in 11 games for the Mariners, posting a .176/.200/.206 slash line.