I Heart Mitch Haniger

My fantasy teams just let out a huge sigh of relief; Mitch Haniger is back. After making a few solid appearances with AAA Tacoma, the M’s brought up Haniger for Sunday’s eventual loss to Toronto.

Haniger drew a walk but didn’t do much else in his initial return against the Blue Jays, but seems to be back to normal ¬†against the Twins, driving in two runs and recording his eighth and ninth doubles of the year.

“When Mitch Haniger and all the guys kind of keep moving the line, it’s a pretty fun offense to watch,” manager Scott Servais said after Monday’s win. The M’s put up 14 runs off of 19 hits before being massacred on Tuesday, losing 20-7.

Giving up 20 runs is never OK, but with Haniger and Paxton back, and Felix making another rehab start, maybe a humbling Mariner loss is exactly what we all need to feel like things are back to normal again.

Speaking of the army of injured pitchers that is the Seattle Mariners, Hisashi Iwakuma is set to make his first rehab start since his May 7th injury. This is a good sign, as Christian Bergman’s luck seems to have run out (see: 20-7 loss).

Also, Jean Segura has been swinging in the cage and fielding ground balls and feeling at about “60 percent”, per Scott Servais. Tyler Smith and Taylor Motter have been marvelous so far, but Segura’s presence in the lineup will be important to make up ground in the AL West and the Wild Card race, especially with Haniger back in the lineup. Between their three combined DL stints, Haniger and Segura have only played in nine games this season. NINE. That’s all. We’re 66 games in, and our best rookie and last year’s NL hit leader are barely learning each other’s last names.

Once those two get some extended lineup time together, watch out, everyone.

The M’s follow starter Sam Gaviglio into tomorrow’s effort to even the series. They wrap up the four-game stint on Thursday before heading to Texas to face the Rangers.