Haniger (finger) not expected to be out long

Haniger (finger) not expected to be out long

CHICAGO -- Standing at his locker in the visitors' clubhouse on Sunday, Mitch Haniger sported a new accessory -- a wrapped right index finger covering up the damage from a ball that hit him during a bunt attempt the day before.

"I went out for defense and started to throw and didn't really have feeling," said Haniger, when he realized he was injured. "I didn't want to not be able to make a throw in a crucial situation so that was kinda the reason to come out and get someone else in there who could be able to make a play."

Haniger, who left the 4-3 win over the White Sox in the sixth inning, noted he had some swelling in his finger, which would preclude him from hitting or throwing in the immediate sense. He did, however, note he was still available off the bench to run, something manager Scott Servais agreed could be a possibility.

"He's on the roster, he can do that," Servais said. "We'll put some kind of -- everybody's got those hand protector things they wear now. He'll be available to do that."

Overall, the diagnosis seemed to be one of optimism.

Haniger, who started the year slashing .342/.447/.608 before missing six-and-a-half weeks with an oblique injury, didn't expect to miss nearly as much time this time around.

Rather, the outfielder said he wasn't quite sure when he'd return but hoped it would only take just a day or two to get back to normal.

In the meantime, the Mariners shuffled their outfield, moving Ben Gamel from left field to right and slotting Guillermo Heredia in center and Taylor Motter in left. The club will also likely rely some on Jarrod Dyson, who had started each of the last five games in center before returning to the bench for Sunday's finale.

"We're going to give him a few days. See where it's [at]," Servais said of Haniger. "Obviously it's swollen today, it's pretty sore, but I think some of the blood that was behind the nail ... they got rid of some of that.

"He's going to be [dealing with that] a couple days. I don't know how it's going to affect him hitting so much, probably more throwing is how I see it playing out."

Scott Chasen is a reporter with MLB.com based in Chicago who covered the Mariners on Sunday. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.