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.
Phillies star outfielder Bryce Harper played some third base during Monday’s intrasquad game at Citizens Bank Park, Jim Salisbury of NBC Sports Philadelphia reports. Harper had been pestering manager Joe Girardi for the opportunity and the skipper finally gave in.
Girardi told Harper, “No diving. And make sure your arm is loose.” Harper had the opportunity to field one ball, a grounder to his left and he made the play perfectly.
Why put Harper at third base? Girardi said, “I think it’s important the guys have fun. I saw him a week ago taking ground balls there and I was impressed. His hands worked well out front and he threw the ball across the field well. I told him, ‘You look good there.'”
Despite the solid showing, don’t expect Harper to show up at third base in a meaningful game anytime soon. That being said, the Phillies’ second and third base situations are still not cemented. Jean Segura will likely open the season at the hot corner with Scott Kingery at second, but things could change between now and Opening Day in 10 days.
Harper, 27, is coming off a solid first season with the Phillies. He hit .260/.372/.510 with 36 doubles, 35 home runs, 114 RBI, 98 runs scored, and 15 stolen bases across 682 plate appearances. Per FanGraphs, Harper’s 4.6 Wins Above Replacement ranked 16th in the National League. For some people, those numbers weren’t nearly good enough, so the expectations remain high as Harper enters year two of his 13-year, $330 million contract.