The reports on injured Mariners right fielder Mitch Haniger, who was hit in the face Saturday by a pitch, continue to ring with optimism.
General manager Jerry Dipoto reiterated Monday that “the medical view is there was nothing so dramatic that it would take long than 10 or 14 days to get back on the field.”
That said, Dipoto quickly added that Haniger’s recovery from the trauma of the event is harder to forecast.
“We’re also going to be compassionate to what he just went through,” Dipoto said. “and bring him back at the appropriate time. Whether that’s 10 days or three weeks, I can’t tell you.”
Haniger, 26, was hit in the lip and nose on the left side of his face by a 95-mph fastball from New York Mets pitcher Jacob deGrom in the second inning of Saturday’s game at Safeco Field.
While Haniger remained face down for several moments, he never lost consciousness and was able to walk, under assistance, to the clubhouse. The injury required plastic surgery to repair a severe laceration on his upper lip.
Haniger displayed an upbeat attitude Sunday in addressing his injury on twitter: “Thanks to all of you who reached out. I really appreciate it! It could have been much worse and I feel very lucky!”
It’s been a rough year for Haniger, whom the Mariners acquired last November from Arizona in a five-player trade. He missed 6 1/2 weeks after suffering a strained right oblique muscle on April 25 at Detroit.
Haniger was off to a strong start prior to his oblique injury but has struggled since he return. He is batting .255 with seven homers and 24 RBI in 58 games, although his .358 on-base percentage is third on the club behind Ben Gamel and Jean Segura.
“He had a mild concussion,” Dipoto said, “a small nasal fracture and some pretty severe swelling due to the laceration on his lip. But he really avoided too much damage, as shocking as it is.
“The traumatic event is just going to take a little time to work through. The swelling coming down is going to be critical.”