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Haniger to injured list after fouling ball off himself

@gregjohnsmlb
June 7, 2019

ANAHEIM -- A Mariners team on a rough run took another hit on Friday when All-Star outfielder Mitch Haniger was placed on the 10-day injured list with a ruptured testicle after fouling a ball off himself during Thursday’s 8-7, 14-inning loss to the Astros in Seattle. Haniger injured himself on

ANAHEIM -- A Mariners team on a rough run took another hit on Friday when All-Star outfielder Mitch Haniger was placed on the 10-day injured list with a ruptured testicle after fouling a ball off himself during Thursday’s 8-7, 14-inning loss to the Astros in Seattle.

Haniger injured himself on a third-inning strikeout, but he stayed in the game and struck out again in the sixth before being removed for a pinch-hitter in the seventh inning.

The Mariners didn't immediately offer a timeline for how long Haniger might be out, but Adrian Beltre missed 5 1/2 weeks with a similar injury while with Seattle in 2009.

Haniger underwent surgery two days after teammate Braden Bishop had surgery to repair a lacerated spleen from getting hit by a pitch. Manager Scott Servais said both would certainly be sidelined for 2-3 weeks before even starting to resume baseball activities.

Bishop was released from the hospital on Friday, but a Mariners team that has lost 35 of 48 games since its surprising 13-2 start is now starting to rack up injuries at an alarming rate, and Haniger’s absence tops that list.

“Mitch is our grinder,” Servais said. “He’s our champion. He does things the right way. I know he’s been scuffling a bit at the plate and is very frustrated with his performance, but these are crazy injuries. The spleen, the other issue with Mitch. It’s something you have to deal with and keep moving forward. And that’s what we will do here.”

The Mariners called up Tayler Scott, a 27-year-old right-handed reliever out of South Africa, to fill Haniger’s spot on the roster for Friday’s series opener against the Angels.

That leaves the club with only three full-time outfielders -- Mallex Smith, Domingo Santana and the newly acquired Mac Williamson -- but an extra bullpen arm was needed after using eight pitchers in the 14-inning game.

Haniger’s outfield spot will be filled for now by Williamson, who had just been signed as a Minor League free agent on Wednesday and then was promoted to the big league club when Bishop was diagnosed with a lacerated spleen.

Haniger had started the last two games in center field, with Servais shifting Smith to left and moving left fielder Santana to Haniger’s normal right-field spot.

Smith moves back to center field now, with Williamson and Santana playing the corner spots. The Mariners presumably will add another outfielder once their bullpen situation solidifies, but utility man Dylan Moore can play outfield and second baseman Shed Long was taking fly balls in left field prior to Friday’s game.

Haniger went 0-for-3 in Thursday’s game as he continued a difficult stretch in which his batting average has dropped to .220, with an American League-high 81 strikeouts.

Haniger’s .220/.314/.463 slash line in 63 games is significantly below last year’s .285/.366/.493 line in 157 games. But the 2018 All-Star has hit 15 home runs with 32 RBIs, and his 46 runs are tied for the fourth most in the AL.

Scott, a 27-year-old right-hander out of South Africa, was 3-2 with a 5.88 ERA in 19 appearances for Triple-A Tacoma, with 44 strikeouts and 19 walks in 33 2/3 innings.

Scott was signed to a Minor League deal by the Mariners in January after going 5-5 with a 3.26 ERA in 44 relief outings for the Rangers’ Triple-A Round Rock club in 2018. He has never pitched in the Majors.

The Mariners opened a 40-man roster spot for Scott by designating reliever Jimmy Cordero for assignment. Cordero was claimed off waivers by the White Sox. He’d been claimed by the Mariners 10 days earlier and pitched just once for Double-A Arkansas, allowing one hit with four walks in two-thirds of an inning.

The rest of the injury list

• Second baseman Dee Gordon (bruised wrist) was set to begin a Minor League rehab stint with Tacoma on Friday and could rejoin the big league club on Tuesday in Minnesota.

• Third baseman Ryon Healy (lower back tightness) had a setback after working out this week and won’t begin his rehab stint with Tacoma yet, as had been hoped.

• Shortstop J.P. Crawford (sprained left ankle) is expected to start a rehab stint on Monday or Tuesday with Class A Advanced Modesto, with the hope he could rejoin the Mariners by their series in Oakland next weekend.

• Reliever Connor Sadzeck (right elbow tightness) tried to play catch on Friday in Seattle, but he had some lingering issues and will have an MRI to help determine his status.

• Reliever Chasen Bradford (strained right elbow) will remain shut down for another week before he begins throwing after being diagnosed with a Grade 1 flexor strain.

Hunter Strickland and Félix Hernández (both with right lat strains) will throw live batting practice on Sunday in Tacoma, with the possibility of then advancing to rehab stints with the Rainiers later next week.

• Reliever Sam Tuivailala (returning from a ruptured Achilles tendon) threw well in a Wednesday bullpen session and will throw another on Sunday as he recovers from a shoulder that got sore while he was rehabbing last month in Tacoma.

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