Mariners Injuries: When Haniger, France, Julio should return
The Mariners didn’t go out and acquire a big bat at the trade deadline, but they should be getting major upgrades to the lineup over the next week.
During his Thursday visit with The Mike Salk Show on Seattle Sports 710 AM, Mariners president of baseball operations Jerry Dipoto provided very promising injury updates for three of the team’s best sluggers.
Mitch Haniger, who led the Mariners in home runs with 39 last year while driving in 100 runs, has played just nine games this season. He had a two-week bout with COVID-19 in April and, upon returning, suffered a high-ankle sprain in his very first at-bat back on April 29 that has kept him out since.
Haniger has been on a minor league rehab assignment for two weeks and may be back with the M’s as soon as this weekend against the Angels, Dipoto told Salk.
“Mitch played, I think, seven innings (Wednesday) night in the outfield, and he’s been taking his turn regularly. He’ll play again (Thursday with Triple-A Tacoma), I believe, as a DH,” Dipoto said. “So he’s been toggling back and forth between DH and outfield. The biggest thing for Mitch isn’t about hitting a magic number of plate appearances or games in the outfield, it’s just about when he tells us ‘my timing feels right.’ And when we tee up tomorrow to play the Angels or get into that series and Mitch says ‘my timing feels right,’ there’s a pretty good chance he’ll be playing right field or DH for us the next day. That’s how we’re going to make that assessment.”
If he’s not back this weekend against the Angels, Haniger will likely return soon after, potentially when the Yankees came to T-Mobile Park for a three-game series starting Monday.
“Sometime in the next week, we know Mitch will be back in our lineup barring any setback or future injury,” Dipoto said.
As for Ty France, who has been battling a wrist injury of late that’s kept him out since Saturday in Houston, expect to see the All-Star first baseman Friday night.
“We do believe that Ty will be in the in the lineup tomorrow against the Angels,” Dipoto said.
Seattle’s other All-Star this season, Julio Rodríguez, was placed on the injured list last Sunday after he was hit in the right hand/wrist with a fastball the day before. The rookie All-Star’s IL stint won’t be a long one, though. That’s also the case for utility man Dylan Moore, who also left Saturday’s game and landed on the IL with back spasms.
“We think we’re six days out from from getting Julio back in (the lineup) the day he’s eligible. And the same with Dylan Moore,” Dipoto said.
You can listen to the full Jerry Dipoto Show from Thursday morning at this link or in the podcast player below.