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Mitch Haniger, Austin Slater not expected to play in first home stand



© Rick Scuteri | 2023 Feb 28

The Giants have re-opened Oracle Park for the year, but they’re doing so without two key outfielders.

Neither Mitch Haniger nor Austin Slater are expected to play in San Francisco’s opening home stand — a six-game stretch against the Royals and Dodgers — according to manager Gabe Kapler.

“Both of those guys, Haniger and Slater, are probably not going to play on this home stand,” Kapler said. “Who comes first, I can’t really say that for sure right now. But more likely that they make their first appearance on the road, both of them.”

Haniger (left oblique strain) and Slater (left hamstring strain) each got injured during spring training and opened the season on the 10-day injured list. Initially, the team anticipated Haniger to return before Slater, but now that appears unclear.

Both outfielders have been progressing in their rehabs, per the team’s medical update releases.

The Giants signed Haniger to a three-year, $43.5 million deal this winter, making him the team’s biggest acquisition. Two years ago, he hit 39 home runs for the Mariners.

Haniger has dealt with a slew of fluky injuries in his career. He got hit in the face by a pitch and fouled another pitch into his groin, which resulted in an emergency surgery. He played just 63 games in 2019, none in 2020 and 57 last year.

According to Evan Webeck of The Mercury News, Haniger has been hitting off a tee.

Slater, meanwhile, only played three Cactus League games due to right arm neuritis and then a hamstring strain.

Slater is expected to play a significant role by platooning with Mike Yastrzemski in center field. Without Slater and Haniger, two right-handed hitters, the Giants are a tad light against southpaws.

The Giants are also going to be without Joey Bart (back strain) for this home stand, although he’s making progress and could begin a rehab assignment soon.

“Joey’s really looking good, and looking good fast,” Kapler said.