Mariners’ right fielder Mitch Haniger was removed from the second inning of Saturday’s game after getting struck in the face by a 95 MPH fastball. He was taken to a nearby hospital and treated for a mouth contusion, but is still expected to undergo further testing. No recovery timetable has been set for the outfielder, who has already missed some time this season with a jammed finger and right oblique strain.
The pitch, a bullet from Mets’ starter Jacob deGrom, hit Haniger around the nose and mouth area as he tried to turn away from it. He immediately crumpled at the plate and was attended to by Travis d'Arnaud before Mariners’ trainer Rick Griffin helped him off the field.
Following the incident, Guillermo Heredia assumed Haniger’s place in the lineup and covered left field while Ben Gamel shifted from left to right field. The Mariners currently lead the Mets 3-0 in the sixth inning.
The Mariners acquired Yankees’ right-hander Nick Rumbelow in exchange for minor league righty Juan Then and left-hander JP Sears, per an official announcement on Saturday. Rumbelow made 17 appearances for the Yankees in 2015 before undergoing Tommy John surgery and could provide some bullpen depth for the Mariners in 2018.
The 26-year-old right-hander spent the majority of his 2017 season in Triple-A Scranton/Wilkes-Barre, where he delivered an 0.62 ERA, 2.5 BB/9 and 9.3 SO/9 over 29 innings. The Yankees didn’t rush Rumbelow into a full workload after he missed the 2016 season recovering from Tommy John, but he didn’t appear to have any significant setbacks with his health or performance and should be ready to compete for a role next spring.
Sears, 21, was ranked 21st in the Mariners’ organization by MLB Pipeline. He was drafted in the 11th round of the 2017 draft and features a deceptive, low-velocity fastball that he can throw for strikes to either side of the plate. In his first year of pro ball, he split 17 games between Short-Season A Everett and Single-A Clinton, turning in an 0.65 ERA, 3.9 BB/9 and 16.6 SO/9 across two levels.
Then, 17, also completed his first year of pro ball after signing with the Mariners as a free agent. He went 2-2 in 13 games of rookie ball, pitching to a 2.64 ERA, 2.2 BB/9 and 8.2 SO/9 in 61 1/3 innings. Neither Sears nor Then will take the mound for the Yankees anytime soon, and offloading Rumbelow to the Mariners should clear up some room on New York’s 40-man roster as they prepare for the upcoming Rule 5 Draft.