The Mariners outfielder is making his first trip to the All-Star Game.
DENVER — The ultra-prepared Mitch Haniger doesn’t have the exact itinerary for his time in Washington D.C. It’s his first All-Star Game so he wasn’t certain of how everything works.
“You get all the info, and it’s a lot of stuff, so we’ll just see what it’s like when I get there,” he said.
He was unaware of Monday’s media day where each All-Star is at a table for an open media session for roughly 30 minutes. Media from all over the world is there asking questions — good, bad or otherwise.
“I didn’t even know we had to do that,” he said. “So it’s like the Super Bowl media day?”
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Well, it’s not quite at that level. But you are a captive audience to all interviewers.
Haniger avoids talking about his accomplishment as much as possible, trying not to say anything that sounds like self-praise or boasting. So that may be interesting for him.
What’s he most looking forward to?
“Just meeting everybody and picking guys’ brains and seeing what helps them be great,” he said. “Hopefully I can pick up some things from a couple of hitters.”
Haniger listed more than a few guys.
“A lot of guys, I’d like to talk to J.D. Martinez and I know Mookie Betts a little bit, but I’d like to talk to him more. George Springer, Mike Trout, hopefully I have enough time to talk to them all about hitting.”
Haniger is a pretty good hitter himself. He ended the first half hitting .272 with an .846 on-base plus slugging percentage, 17 doubles, two triples, 18 homers and 67 RBI. He’s also played in 93 of the Mariners’ 97 games.
“It’s been huge,” he said. “You can’t put up good numbers and stay consistent if you aren’t getting at-bats or if you’re hurt. Staying healthy and playing every day is a big part of it.”
The Mariners set their starting rotation coming out of the All-Star break.
They have a five-game homestand, starting on Friday with a three-game series with White Sox followed by an off-day and a two-game series vs. the Giants.
Lefty Wade LeBlanc will open the second half with Felix Hernandez (lower back tightness) scheduled to be activated from the disabled list and start in the second game of the series with Marco Gonzales to follow.
The plan is for James Paxton to start on July 24, which is the day he’s eligible to come off the 10-day disabled list and the day he was scheduled to pitch before the injury. Right-hander Mike Leake, who made the last start of the first half Sunday in Colorado, will start in the final game of the homestand.
• Friday, July 20 vs. White Sox — LHP Wade LeBlanc
• Saturday, July 21 vs. White Sox — RHP Felix Hernandez
• Sunday, July 22 vs. White Sox — LHP Marco Gonzales
• Tuesday, July 24 vs. Giants — LHP James Paxton
• Wednesday, July 25 vs. Giants — RHP Mike Leake