Mariners Injury Updates: Bullpen help coming this homestand

Jun 9, 2022, 10:43 AM | Updated: 1:15 pm
Mariners Erik Swanson...
Erik Swanson pitches against the Orioles at T-Mobile Park on May 03, 2021. (Steph Chambers/Getty Images)
(Steph Chambers/Getty Images)

The Mariners return home after a very successful 6-3 road trip and they may be getting some reinforcements for the 11-game homestand.

The 3 biggest reasons Mariners have gotten on a much-needed roll

During his weekly visit with The Mike Salk Show on Seattle Sports 710 AM, Mariners president of baseball operations Jerry Dipoto provided some big injury updates.

Mitch Haniger

Star outfielder Mitch Haniger has appeared in just nine games this season due to a bout with COVID as well as an ankle injury. The latter of which has kept him sidelined since April 29.

Haniger resumed hitting in a cage this week this week, but Dipoto said with Haniger and catcher Tom Murphy (shoulder), it’s still wait-and-see mode for the franchise.

“We don’t have an option but to wait you know with Mitch and with Murphy,” Dipoto said. “Waiting for for players to recover from injury, that just takes how long it takes and I don’t really have an update but to say that we feel like we’re getting closer to introducing baseball activity for Mitch. Once we get into that zone, then it can potentially move faster. But I can’t really put a timeline on it because I can’t rush a player back from injury. We need these players to come back fully ready to go and contribute, otherwise what did we rush them back for?”

Erik Swanson and Ken Giles

The Mariners’ bullpen has been better of late, but that unit has been less productive this season than a year ago. But two relievers who can be key contributors the rest of the way are close to returning to action.

Those pitchers? Right-handers Ken Giles and Erik Swanson.

Giles has yet to pitch this season due to a finger injury. He missed all of 2021 rehabbing from Tommy John surgery.

Swanson, meanwhile, was stellar for the Mariners this year before suffering an elbow injury. Swanson posted a 1.29 ERA across 14 innings before landing on the injured list.

Both Giles and Swanson are in the midst of rehab assignments and will likely suit up for the Mariners very soon.

“Ken’s had a rough time on his rehab from a performance aspect, but his stuff has improved each time out,” Dipoto said. ” … (Swanson) has been pretty solid on his rehab. We just need to see him show that resiliency and bounce back. I’d be surprised if we didn’t see both of those guys return during this homestand. Whether that’s at the front end of it on Friday or a little later on is yet to be seen, but they’re both very close to a return.”

Jarred Kelenic

Jarred Kelenic is in Triple-A, but he left the Rainiers’ Wednesday contest with a hamstring injury.

So is it considered to be a serious injury?

“The postgame report was that it wasn’t expected to be a big issue,” Dipoto said. “They thought he’s be good to go again today. He felt something grab and (they) exercised a little caution and just got him out of there.”

After some early struggles upon his demotion, Kelenic has heated up and is now slashing .313/.360/.627 in 19 games.

So what is Dipoto seeing from the former top prospect?

“He’s hitting the ball hard and he’s hitting the ball frequently … you can’t really ask for anything more,” Dipoto said. “As important as anything is he is enjoying the game. He seems to be having fun. I know he’s playing hard.”

Having fun was something Dipoto said recently that Kelenic needed to do during his demotion. While that appears to be the case and he’s hitting well, there are still some in-game areas Kelenic must improve on.

“The one thing we do need to see is we need to see more contact. Since he’s gone back to AAA, we’re still seeing a pretty high strikeout rate and a low walk rate, which is not Jarred,” Dipoto said. “He has better than that in his I guess bag of tricks, and that’s the growth that we need to see so that the next time he crosses through that door to the big leagues is the last time and he’s just ready to go out and be the player that I think his skills and his aptitudes are going to allow him to be. But we do have to tighten up that strike zone a little bit because in the big leagues, they can expose that a little more than than they currently can.”

Listen to the full interview at this link or in the player below.

Mariners pitching coach: How Logan Gilbert has become ‘special’ pitcher

Brock and Salk podcast

Date Starting Pitcher
Thursday, March 30 @ 7:10 pm Guardians' Shane Bieber RHP vs. Mariners' Luis Castillo RHP

Mariners Roof Report

Brought to you by
Light Rain
High 48° | Low 39°
No game today.

Seattle Mariners

Mariners Luis Castillo...
Brandon Gustafson

‘One of the best in the game’: Luis Castillo dazzles for Mariners on opening day

Luis Castillo was dominant for the Mariners in an opening day win over Cleveland, spinning six scoreless innings and allowing one baserunner.
23 hours ago
Mariners Ty France...
The Associated Press

France’s homer in 8th rallies Mariners to 3-0 win over Guardians

J.P. Crawford’s walk helped by a pitch-clock violation on James Karinchak sparked an eighth-inning rally that was capped by Ty France’s three-run homer, and the Seattle Mariners beat the Cleveland Guardians 3-0.
23 hours ago
Mariners Matt Brash...
Brent Stecker

Mariners’ Matt Brash just made one of MLB’s best hitters look ridiculous

Matt Brash started the Mariners season with a memorable moment, sending an All-Star hitting flying on an impressive strikeout.
23 hours ago
Mariners Julio Rodríguez...
Brandon Gustafson

Mariners Notebook: 1st lineup of 2023 has Julio at leadoff, La Stella at DH

The Mariners are back in action against the Cleveland Guardians. Brandon Gustafson has the details on the opening day lineups and more.
23 hours ago
Mariners J.P. Crawford Ty France... Staff

The hottest Mariners takes for the 2023 season from Seattle Sports

How good will the Mariners be, and who will be leading them along the way? We've collected our hottest M's takes from the Seattle Sports pit.
23 hours ago
Mariners Eugenio Suárez Cal Raleigh...
Shannon Drayer

Drayer’s Mariners Preview: What to watch as the 2023 season begins

The heavily anticipated 2023 Seattle Mariners season is here. M's insider Shannon Drayer details the state of the team on opening day.
23 hours ago
Mariners Injury Updates: Bullpen help coming this homestand