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Haniger targeting Tuesday for return

July 17, 2017

HOUSTON -- Mariners right fielder Mitch Haniger was sidelined for a second straight day on Monday by a bruised right index finger, but the rookie standout could be back in the lineup for Tuesday's second game against the Astros if all goes well.Haniger was hit in the hand while trying

HOUSTON -- Mariners right fielder Mitch Haniger was sidelined for a second straight day on Monday by a bruised right index finger, but the rookie standout could be back in the lineup for Tuesday's second game against the Astros if all goes well.
Haniger was hit in the hand while trying to bunt in Saturday's game against the White Sox in Chicago, and the finger remained swollen on Monday as the Mariners opened a three-game series at Minute Maid Park. But Haniger was able to take batting practice, and the question now is how soon he'll be able to grip a ball well enough to throw with accuracy from the outfield.
"It's all right. I'm making progress," Haniger said prior to Monday's series opener. "I hit in the cage today, and that was good. I'll take BP and hopefully be able to throw tomorrow. I think that's the final thing, because hitting is fine."
Manager Scott Servais said Haniger will "possibly be available" on Tuesday, and that could determine how the Mariners handle their roster situation when rookie right-hander Sam Gaviglio is recalled from Triple-A Tacoma to get the start.
The Mariners could send outfielder Boog Powell back to Tacoma if Haniger is healthy. Otherwise, they'll likely option back reliever Emilio Pagan, who was recalled on July 7 when Gaviglio was sent down to keep him starting over the All-Star break.
Worth noting
• Servais said that veteran right-hander Hisashi Iwakuma has resumed throwing back in Seattle, though he's not gotten back up on a mound yet after being shut down over the past two weeks to rest his sore right shoulder.
Iwakuma received a cortisone shot and platelet-rich plasma (PRP) injection to promote recovery after feeling continued discomfort during a bullpen session on July 1. He hasn't pitched in a game since May 3 and is 0-2 with a 4.65 ERA in six starts this season.
"Kuma is playing catch again and feeling better," Servais said. "He has not been on the mound yet, but he's doing better, feeling better."
• Reliever Shae Simmons had his rehab assignment transferred to Tacoma on Monday after making three appearances for Double-A Arkansas. Simmons threw a scoreless inning with one hit and two strikeouts in his last outing for Arkansas, on Friday. He's been sidelined since Spring Training with a strained right elbow after being acquired via trade from the Braves in January.
• Evan White, the Mariners' first-round Draft pick last month, has been placed on the seven-day disabled list for Short-Season Class A Everett and sent back to Peoria, Ariz., to rehab a sore right quad. White has been bothered by the leg off and on since he began playing for Everett. He's hit .277/.345/.532 with three home runs and 12 RBIs in 47 at-bats over his first 14 games.

Greg Johns has covered the Mariners since 1997, and for MLB.com since 2011. Follow him on Twitter [


@GregJohnsMLB]().