Mariners outfielder Mitch Haniger has tested positive for COVID-19, per MLB.com’s Daniel Kramer (via Twitter). He has been placed on the injured list, while Donovan Walton has been recalled to claim his roster spot, the team announced.
With Haniger out for probably at least five days, the pressure should alleviate somewhat from the young duo of Julio Rodriguez and Jarred Kelenic, both of whom have started slowly at the plate. Abraham Toro, meanwhile, is the likeliest to move into the starting lineup while Haniger is away. Toro is at the hot corner today, with Eugenio Suarez moving to designated hitter. Haniger has started six games in right field and two at designated hitter for the M’s so far this season. He, too, is off to a slow start, slashing .176/.200/.471 over 35 plate appearances.
Walton, 27, figures to be back and forth from Triple-A a bit this season, as the lefty-swinging utility player has an option remaining. He has appeared with the Mariners in each of the past three seasons, but never seeing more than 69 plate appearances in a given year. In total, Walton has stepped to the dish 92 times and slashed .196/.260/.315 while appearing at second base, third base, shortstop, and left field.