Thursday, August 18, 2022

Julio Rodríguez injury update: Mariners’ star rookie lands on injured list after getting plunked on wrist

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Seattle Mariners wunderkind and AL Rookie of the Year favorite Julio Rodríguez has avoided major injury, though he is heading to the injured list. Rodríguez was hit by a pitch in the right wrist area Saturday night against the Astros (SEA 5, HOU 4) and exited the game one inning later. On Sunday, the Mariners confirmed x-rays were negative, but Rodríguez is sore enough that he will miss time.

“We’ve got a couple guys going on the IL. One will be Julio Rodríguez,” Mariners manager Scott Servais said Sunday (video link). “He got hit by the pitch last night. X-rays were negative but he’s really sore. He’s probably not going to have a bat in his hand (the next) five days at the earliest. Just letting that calm down. I think everybody knows your wrist, your hands, how sensitive that area is. Let’s do it right. Let’s make sure he’s fully healthy when he comes back.”

Here is the pitch that hit Rodríguez. It was a 96.9-mph sinker that got away from Rafael Montero.

Utility man Dylan Moore was also placed on the injured list Sunday. He has a back issue. Outfielders Jarred Kelenic and Jack Larsen were called up in corresponding moves. Kelenic was removed from the Triple-A lineup Saturday night following Rodríguez’s injury. He is hitting .288/.353/.530 with 11 home runs in 54 Triple-A games this year.

The 21-year-old Rodríguez has quickly emerging as a star-level player this season, hitting .271/.334/.482 with 18 home runs and 21 stolen bases as a rookie. Add in his strong outfield defense and he has been a 3.7 WAR player through 96 games. Rodríguez has a chance to be the American League’s first 5-WAR rookie since Aaron Judge in 2017.

At 55-47, the Mariners are two games behind the Blue Jays for the top wild-card spot and a half-game up on the Rays for the third wild-card spot. They are three games up on a wild-card spot in general. Seattle has not been to the postseason since 2001, Ichiro’s rookie year.

Rodríguez missed Seattle’s first four games of the second half with a nagging left wrist injury suffered sliding into second base the game before the All-Star break. This new injury is obviously unrelated.  

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