Despite spending much of Monday getting treatment on his lower back, Mitch Haniger was out of the starting lineup for Tuesday night’s game vs. the Padres at T-Mobile Park.
While he always trends to the optimistic side, there was a bit of concern in the voice of manager Scott Servais when asked about Haniger’s status.
“He’s got some soreness in his low back,” Servais said pregame. “It’s a little concerning I think in the fact that he came in yesterday and got a bunch of treatment and work done and we thought it was still best to give him the day off today.”
With it being only a two-game series and an afternoon game on Wednesday followed by a day off on Thursday, the Mariners could keep him out till they open a three-city trip on Friday in Anaheim.
“We’ll see how he feels tomorrow,” Servais said. “He may be off tomorrow as well. It’s a quick turnaround with a day game tomorrow. Any time you’re missing a key guy in your lineup like that, it is concerning. Hopefully it’s nothing it’s going to keep him out too long, but obviously he’s not in there tonight.”
Haniger had been battling some muscular issues in the lower back over the weekend and felt his lower back lock up on Sunday afternoon and came out of the game in the sixth inning.
“It’s something that he felt coming on a little bit and then it kind of locked up on during the game,” Servais said. “I’m hopeful we shut him down early enough that he could be available today, but that was just not the case.”
Sam Haggerty got the start in right field for Haniger. But the Mariners lineup looked a little less ominous without Haniger batting third.
Since returning from a high ankle sprain on Aug. 6, Haniger, has posted a .242/.305/.376 slash line with five doubles, four homers, 16 RBI, 11 walks and 34 strikeouts. His numbers had taken a bit of a hit since the Cleveland series with just three hits in his last 34 plate appearances.
Servais’ injury update on utility player Dylan Moore (oblique strain) was more positive. Moore has increased his activity level to the point where he will likely travel on the upcoming trip and could be activated off the injured list.
“D-Mo is coming back quicker,” Servais said. “There’s no specific date. It’s kind of how he feels day to day and how much activity he is able to take on. He has been swinging in the cage — off the tee and soft toss. He’s doing all the defensive work. He’s running. So hopefully it’s sooner rather than later.
“He’s a key guy for us. He just creates so much versatility defensively, and also having his bat in there against left-handed pitching. On this next road trip, it looks like we will face some left-handed starters so it would be nice to have him back.”
Monday night madness
Social media was abuzz with pics of Ty France and J.P. Crawford watching the Seahawks-Broncos game on Monday night from the Hawks Nest area. The Mariners’ stalwarts bought tickets and sat among the fans, enjoying a few adult beverages and interacting with fans for their first Seahawks game at Lumen Field.
“It didn’t surprise me at all,” Servais said. “First of all, it was a hard ticket to come by yesterday. I think the guys would have liked to all hung out in a suite, but there weren’t any suites available for that game.”
Well, there were suites but they were going for more than $50,000 and closer to $70,000.
“I was going back and forth for a while whether I should go or not,” Servais said. “A lot of our guys had never been to a Hawks game so they didn’t understand what the ‘12s’ are all about and the atmosphere over there. It was a good experience for them.”
Besides France and Crawford, reliever Erik Swanson was also sitting in the Hawks Nest. Catcher Cal Raleigh attended the game. Second baseman Adam Frazier did have access to a suite through an acquaintance and took pitcher George Kirby and backup catcher Curt Casali.
There were also pictures circulating on social media of Padres outfielder Juan Soto and pitcher John Musgrove at the game.
Coming into Tuesday, the Mariners had blasted 58 homers since Aug. 1, the most of any team in the American League. Eugenio Suarez was responsible for 14 of those homers, which had been the most of any player in baseball during that span. But that will likely change with Aaron Judge belting a pair of homers on Tuesday for the Yankees giving him 15 since Aug. 1 and 57 on the season.
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