After leaving Tuesday night’s game against Houston in the fifth inning with cramping, outfielder Braden Bishop was eventually hospitalized to undergo procedures related to a lacerated spleen.
Bishop was placed on the 10-day injured list Wednesday afternoon. Mariners manager Scott Servais had few updates Thursday morning, but said Bishop was still in the hospital, and the club was in contact with him and monitoring his progress.
Following Tuesday’s loss, Bishop was sitting at his locker in the Mariners’ clubhouse, and said he felt his trapezius lock up after he caught a Yuli Gurriel fly ball in center in the fourth inning. When he returned to the dugout between innings, Bishop said he couldn’t stand up straight, and he was quickly removed from the game.
“I came inside and it was a tough 45 minutes,” Bishop said. “It’s just very uncomfortable. The doctor was stumped, I was stumped. We just had no idea what it really was. ... I’ve been hurt a lot, but that was different.”
The following day, doctors determined the injury stemmed from when Bishop was hit in the ribs by a pitch last week while playing with Triple-A Tacoma.
“I’ve heard of guys being hit by a pitch, and they don’t really feel anything for a couple days, and might have broken a rib or something like that, but any internal organ like that, I’ve never of heard of this before,” Servais said.
Servais said Bishop had already had some procedures performed as of Thursday morning.
“I just knew it wasn’t right (Tuesday) night,” Servais said. “The cramp thing, where he got it, doesn’t make a lot of sense to me, and it certainly was attributed to something else that was going on with the spleen issue. ... Braden’s a really tough kid, so for him to come out of the game, I knew it was something pretty serious.”
Seattle was much more active on the base paths during this homestand. Entering Thursday, the Mariners ranked tied for second in the majors with Texas with 45 stolen bases, and had 47 by the end of the day, thanks in large part to the 15 bags they swiped in this 11-game stretch. Only Kansas City’s speedy group (56) had more.
Rookie infielder Dylan Moore and outfielder Mallex Smith each added one more to the tally on Thursday.
Outfielder Mallex Smith was responsible for more than half of Seattle’s steals during this stretch, logging eight, including a four-steal game in the homestand-opening win over Texas last week. He also stole home in that game.
“I tell everybody, the No. 1 best way to be a good base stealer is to be aggressive,” Smith said. “You can’t be afraid to get thrown out. Period. Without that, you can’t be a base stealer. You have to toe the line between crazy and stupid.”
Smith entered the day tied for second in the majors with 15 stolen bases, trailing only Kansas City’s Adalberto Mondesi (22). He had 16 by the end of the game. Dee Gordon, who is out with a wrist injury, ranks tied for fifth with 12.
HANIGER STILL STRUGGLING
Mariners outfielder Mitch Haniger, a former All-Star, continues to struggle finding consistency at the plate. Entering Thursday he was tied for second in the majors in strikeouts with 79, and added two more in the homestand finale loss to Houston.
He left the game in the seventh inning after three at-bats with a lower body contusion sustained when a foul ball ricocheted off of him. He was undergoing testing following the game.
“He took a pretty hard shot,” Servais said. “We’ll find out more once we get those tests back.”
▪ Mariners reliever Hunter Strickland and starter Felix Hernandez, both of whom are recovering from lat strains, were each scheduled to throw a second bullpen session Thursday.
Hernandez felt good after his first session earlier in the week, and was set to throw all of his pitches in a pair of 15-pitch sets, with a break in between.
“I talked to him, and he’s anxious to ramp it up,” Servais said.
Both Strickland and Hernandez will progress to live BP next, likely in Triple-A Tacoma with the Mariners departing for a nine-game road trip, before beginning rehab assignments.
▪ Second baseman Dee Gordon (wrist), first baseman Ryon Healy (back) and shortstop J.P. Crawford (ankle) remain on track to begin rehab assignments sometime this weekend, though Servais did not give specifics.
▪ Relievers Connor Sadzeck and Chasen Bradford, both out with elbow injuries, have not yet resumed throwing activities. Sadzeck will likely start playing catch this weekend, Servais said, while Bradford probably won’t pick up a ball until at least next week.