ST. PETERSBURG -- The Mariners outfield will have a different dynamic at the start of their 12-game road trip, as Jarrod Dyson landed on the disabled list and Mitch Haniger was activated from the DL and recalled from Triple-A Tacoma on Saturday.Dyson, the American League stolen-base leader (28), tweaked his
ST. PETERSBURG -- The Mariners outfield will have a different dynamic at the start of their 12-game road trip, as Jarrod Dyson landed on the disabled list and Mitch Haniger was activated from the DL and recalled from Triple-A Tacoma on Saturday.
Dyson, the American League stolen-base leader (28), tweaked his groin the other day playing against the Orioles. Manager Scott Servais said he could tell from the dugout that something wasn't right with Dyson, judging by the way the center fielder ran after a double in the gap. Servais intended to give Dyson a day to rest the groin, but Dyson's body wasn't recovering as quickly as hoped.
"He just wasn't running well at all and was still pretty sore yesterday," Servais said, adding he expects the injury to affect Dyson for five to six days. "... With the 10-day DL now, it just makes sense. We don't want to play short for too many days at this point in the season."
Haniger will take an outfield spot left vacant in Dyson's absence, returning to a Major League field for the first time since being hit in the face by a 96-mph pitch from Jacob deGrom on July 29. Haniger suffered a mild concussion and a small nasal fracture.
"He's been fine, playing every day down there," Servais said. "The report I got is he actually feels better at the plate. Before he got hit in the face, he was struggling. He was having a hard time starting to get it going again, and really hadn't been himself since he came back from the initial rib cage injury. Hopefully, getting some at-bats down there certainly helped. We need him."
Haniger resumed playing on Aug. 12 in Tacoma and went 4-for-21 with two home runs, a double and four RBIs. He had missed 42 games earlier in the season with the rib injury. He batted .231 in June after he returned, his average sinking lower in July, to .176.
Haniger was in the sixth spot in the Mariners' lineup on Saturday against Tampa Bay.
"Like I've said all along, this road trip is going to be determined by how consistent our offense is on a nightly basis," Servais said. "A lot of that is driven by the bottom of the lineup."
• Reliever Casey Lawrence returns to the big league club after a short stint in Tacoma. Lawrence last pitched for the Mariners on Monday and has a 5.64 ERA in 30 1/3 innings this year. Sam Gaviglio, who was called up Tuesday to provide bullpen insurance and was not used, will head back down to Triple-A.
• The Mariners hosted some unfamiliar guests in the clubhouse Saturday, including the likes of a snapping turtle, a 12-foot python and an 8-foot-long alligator. Servais plans on having some entertainment in each city the Mariners visit on this road trip.
"A little distraction for 20, 25 minutes isn't going to hurt anybody," he said.
Still, Servais felt a little nervous when Nelson Cruz eagerly picked up the visiting alligator and the other reptiles.
"I was like, 'Woah, hold on big guy, we need all your fingers!" Servais said. "Let the coaches or the trainer do that."
Connor Mount is a reporter for MLB.com based in St. Petersburg who covered the Mariners on Saturday.