Mitch Haniger Experiences a Setback
Earlier this afternoon, the Seattle Mariners confirmed that outfielder, Mitch Haniger had hit a setback in his recovery. The news was confirmed via MLB.com Seattle Mariners Beat Writer, Greg Johns Twitter account.
Last season, Haniger was forced to miss the final four months after rupturing a testicle. The injury was severe and really dampened the high expectations that Seattle had for Haniger. The type of setback that Haniger experienced is common among those that have experienced that sort of injury.
Haniger, Once a Breakout Star
The Seattle Mariners had such high expectations for Mitch Haniger because he was a star in the making. During the 2018 season, Haniger received his first All-Star nod. He also finished that season eleventh in National League MVP voting.
Over the span of the 2018 regular season, the then 27-year old Haniger slashed: .285/.366/.493 over 683 plate appearances. In that span, Haniger recorded a career-high 26 home runs, 93 RBI, and 70 walks. When you add that all up, it equaled a Wins Above Replacement value of 6.1. It was the type of season that the Mariners were expecting from Haniger after trading for him back in 2016.
Former Arizona Diamondback Turned Seattle Mariner
On the eve of Thanksgiving in 2016, the Seattle Mariners acquired Haniger from the Arizona Diamondbacks along with SS Jean Segura and LHP Zac Curtis. In exchange, the Mariners sent 2B Ketel Marte and RHP Taijuan Walker to the Diamondbacks.
The Seattle Mariners continued to churn over their roster in an attempt to be a contending team come 2017. Unfortunately, that didn’t pan out as expected and the Mariners weren’t able to break their postseason drought.
Furthermore, when Seattle acquired Haniger, he was getting ready to head into his age 26 season. That age is usually when players begin to hit their prime years. Despite that though, the only true results that Seattle has received from Haniger occurred in the aforementioned 2018 season.
In the end, the news today surrounding Mitch Haniger was devastating for the Seattle Mariners. The Mariners likely won’t contend this coming season. Haniger was expected to be a vital piece of the Mariners lineup. Without his bat in the lineup, the Mariners offense takes a significant step backward. Only time will tell if the Mariners are able to overcome those offensive shortfalls with the guys they have internally.