No Glitch With Mitch; Haniger Back on Track for Mariners
The Mariners right fielder has been impressive since his first series with the team.
Remember, Mitch Haniger was the throw-in to the trade that sent Taijuan Walker and Ketel Marte to the desert. And has that trade worked out well for the Mariners? The meat of that trade, Jean Segura, has been great as well. Which is why Mitch’s first two seasons in Seattle have been fun.
Until Mitch left a game in April of last year with an oblique injury, his slash was something special at .321/.430/.590. Naturally, his hitting came down to earth upon return and finished 2017 with a .282/.352/.491. The M’s clearly won the trade with Jean completing his own mark of .300/.349/.427. Dipoto clearly won the trade.
This season Mitch has picked up from where he left off. He can add All-Star to his resume and he’s clutch. He has a couple of walk-off home runs, including one to cap off a wild sweep of the rival Angels. His defense is struggling at the moment but overall is a reliable right fielder.
The truth is that the Mariners have played sluggish ball since early July. Hitters look psyched out at the plate and Mitch is no exemption. For July and most of August, Mitch’s only hits appeared to be dinky ground balls to the left side of the infield. Whether or not he was overthinking at the plate, he struggled to drive the ball.
Yet in the recent sweep of the Astros, Mitch is climbing back onto his horse. He gave Houston a problem with nine total hits, including the game-winner to steal the series finale. Mitch still needs to fully find his way along with the rest of his teammates. But it’s hard to find a glitch with this guy.
And cut him slack for his struggles. He wasn’t supposed to be in the three-hole, Cano was. That lineup spot is tough to fill. Especially when Cano is an old pro and it’s just Mitch’s third MLB season. Batting third may be too high for a young player like Mitch. Just wait to see how Mitch will do as he gains more experience.