Mariners outfielder Mitch Haniger is likely to miss the start of the 2020 season with a core-muscle injury, the team announced Thursday. (AP Photo/Elaine Thompson)

Mariners outfielder Mitch Haniger is likely to miss the start of the 2020 season with a core-muscle injury, the team announced Thursday. (AP Photo/Elaine Thompson)

Haniger suffers setback, likely to miss start of M’s season

He is likely out 6-to-8 weeks with a core-muscle injury related to last season’s ruptured testicle.

SEATTLE — Mitch Haniger’s injury-plagued 2019 season in carrying over into 2020.

The Seattle Mariners outfielder, one of the few established batters on the Mariners’ roster, will likely miss all of spring training and perhaps the start of the season as he faces surgery to repair a core-muscle injury.

Seattle general manager Jerry Dipoto made the announcement during the Mariners’ pre-spring training media event held Thursday morning at T-Mobile Park.

“We found out Monday night that Mitch had had a setback and it’s probably going to result in a core surgery that might cause him to miss most or all of spring training and likely delay the start of this season,” Dipoto said. “This is all coming together over the course of the last 40 hours or so, so it’s still very fresh.”

Dipoto said Haniger suffered the setback on Monday afternoon, then received the prognosis from doctors on Tuesday. If Haniger undergoes surgery, as expected, he’s likely to be out six-to-eight weeks, which threatens his availability for Seattle’s season opener on March 26 at T-Mobile Park.

Dipoto said the injury is related to the injuries that limited the 2018 All-Star to 63 games last season.

“We’re hopeful the diagnosis and the surgery to follow will result in him not experiencing any more trouble with this,” Dipoto said.

Haniger has been one of the core members of Seattle’s roster as the Mariners go through their rebuilding process. In 2018 Haniger slugged 26 home runs, compiled a .859 OPS, and by the wins-above-replacement metric he was far and away Seattle’s best player.

However, Haniger suffered a ruptured testicle last June and never returned. He finished the season with 15 homers and a .778 OPS in 63 contests.

Dipoto said Haniger was having “perhaps his best offseason” when he suffered his setback.

“It’s disappointing,” Mariners manager Scott Servais said. “I really looked forward to having him back. Just putting that name in the lineup is a nice security blanket.”

Though it’s not expected to be a season-long issue, Dipoto said Haniger’s injury will open up more opportunity in Seattle’s outfield. He said Mallex Smith is the only certainty, while the likes of Kyle Lewis, Jake Fraley and Braden Bishop will receive greater looks. Dipoto also said he’d look into the possibility of adding a veteran via free agency.

Talk to us

More in Sports

Silvertips' Cole Fonstad attempts a shot with Chiefs' Mason Beaupit defending during the final home game Friday night at Angel of the Winds Arena in Everett on May 7, 2021.  (Kevin Clark / The Herald)
WHL plans full season at full capacity in 2021-22

The Silvertips will begin a 68-game schedule on Oct. 1 and playoffs will return to the old format.

Trina Davis watches the while playing a game for ASA Tel Aviv in Israel. (Moshik Oshri)
She fled rocket fire in Israel for the safety of Marysville

MPHS grad Trina Davis was enjoying her first professional soccer season when the fighting broke out.

Report: Racial comments targeted Mariner basketball players

Investigators found Lakewood fans’ behavior created a “racially charged” situation during tense May contest.

File photo
AquaSox bats erupt in series-opening road win over Canadians

Everett pounds out 15 hits in a 16-9 victory over Vancouver.

The Herald’s Athlete of the Week poll.
Vote for The Herald’s Prep Athlete of the Week for June 7-13

The Athlete of the Week nominees for June 7-13. Voting closes at… Continue reading

Everett Community College athletic programs emerged with four official North Region championships and two unofficial region titles. (Daniel Acosta / Everett Community College)
Everett Community College completes banner year in athletics

The Trojans emerged with four official North titles and two unofficial region crowns this season

Silvertips' Ethan Regnier (bottom) celebrates a goal against the Spokane Chiefs during the final home game Friday night at Angel of the Winds Arena in Everett on May 7, 2021.  (Kevin Clark / The Herald)
Silvertips win WHL’s CHL import draft lottery

Everett will have a chance to add an impact import player with the WHL’s top pick in the first round.

Julio Rodriguez (pictured last month) compiled another impressive series at the plate as the Everett AquaSox took four of five games from the Eugene Emeralds last week. (Olivia Vanni / The Herald)
AquaSox weekly update: J-Rod returns, Sox leap into 1st place

Julio Rodriguez and others continue to excel at the plate as Everett climbs back atop the High-A West.

File photo
AquaSox bounce back with win over Emeralds

Everett pitchers shut down the Eugene bats in a 6-1 victory on Saturday night.

Most Read