Mitch Haniger Suffers Ruptured Testicle

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Mitch Haniger
SEATTLE, WA - MAY 29: Mitch Haniger #17 of the Seattle Mariners walks off the field after an at-bat in a game against the Texas Rangers at T-Mobile Park on May 29, 2019 in Seattle, Washington. The Rangers won 8-7. (Photo by Stephen Brashear/Getty Images)

Mitch Haniger makes a bad season worse after taking a foul ball to the groin on Thursday, rupturing his testicle. But the uglier this season gets for the Seattle Mariners, the better it could be for their future.

The Good

The Mariners began their 2019 campaign as the hottest team in baseball. They won 13 of their first 15 games, outscoring opponents 115-75 over that span. Seattle seemed to be the Cinderella team of this season as they won six straight to close out this stretch. It wouldn’t be long, however, before the magic wore off and the Pacific Northwest immediately lost six in a row.

The Bad

Since the hot start, the Mariners have dropped 38 of their last 51 — leaving them at a less than impressive 26-40 record. The team now sits 18.0 games out of first place and has the fifth worst record in baseball.

Through the first week of June, the Mariners haven’t been the juggernaut they once seemed like this season, and this hasn’t been the fault of the offense. Contrary to their record, Seattle has had one of the highest producing offenses in baseball. Currently, they are in the top-five in runs scored, home runs, RBI, and walks.

The pitching hasn’t exactly been on par with the offense though. The Mariner pitching staff currently finds themselves in the bottom-five in ERA, hits allowed, runs scored, home runs, walks, batting average against, and WHIP.

The Ugly

After falling off a cliff in mid-April like Seattle did, this season couldn’t possibly get worse, but it did.

In the third inning of an extra-inning loss against the Houston Astros on Thursday, outfielder Mitch Haniger took that faithful foul ball to the groin. To make matters worse, it was foul ball off of his own bat. The outfielder would stay in the game however until the seventh inning when he was replaced by Mac Williamson.

Haniger now finds himself on the 10-day IL with a ruptured testicle after the unfortunate swing. Relief pitcher Tayler Scott will take Haniger’s spot for the time being after being promoted from triple-A.

Looking into the Future

This injury will hurt the Mariners and their 2019 season for now, but that may not be the worst thing to happen to this team. Seattle is a team with a lot of power bats, but that power isn’t translating into wins thus far.

After dealing Jay Bruce to the Philadelphia Phillies, and Haniger now being sidelined, this could motivate the front office to go into a full-fledged selling mode. Seattle has a lot of power bats and could sell of these pieces for minor-league talent. On the surface this injury looks fatal for the team, but it could help add some sense of direction to a franchise who seems to be in between wanting to rebuild and wanting to win.

Main Photo: Embed from Getty Images

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