No team escapes spring training without dealing with a key injury or two. That became truer for the SF Giants on Saturday as it was announced that outfielder Mitch Haniger sustained a Grade 1 oblique strain according to Alex Pavlovic of NBC Sports Bay Area.
SF Giants News: Outfield Mitch Haniger dealing with oblique strain
Pavlovic adds that the 32-year-old will rest the oblique for 5 - 7 days and be re-evaluated. Haniger joins Austin Slater (elbow) as two position players who are dealing with injuries. Though, injury is not expected to prevent either player from being ready for Opening Day.
This sounds precautionary in nature, but the hope is that the oblique injury does not linger throughout the season. That said, San Francisco did luck out in the fact that Haniger's strain is considered low in terms of severity.
The Giants added the six-year veteran on a three-year, $43.5 million this past winter. His contract includes an opt-out clause after the second season. Haniger is coming off of a season in which he registered a .246/.308/.429 line (114 OPS+) with 11 home runs, 34 RBI, and 31 runs in 247 plate appearances for the Seattle Mariners.
He did deal with back and knee ailments last season that limited him to just 57 games. The Giants accepted a relatively high degree of injury risk when signing Haniger as he has appeared in over 100 games just twice throughout his career. This oblique strain will do nothing to quell anyone's concerns even if it is expected to be minor.
When he is healthy, Haniger has proven to generate plenty of offensive value. He blasted 39 home runs as recently as 2021 and has tallied a 123 OPS+ throughout his career. So, he is the type of player that you can slot into the middle of the order and that is what the Giants are expected to do.
And, he should be in the lineup on an everyday basis as he has even platoon splits (.795 OPS against RHP, .853 OPS against LHP). For now, the goal will be getting him ready for the season. The injury is not a great start, but it is only March.