Mariners’ Julio Rodríguez misses 2nd straight game with sore wrist
The Mariners will not have two of their best young bats for Saturday’s contest with the Houston Astros, who send future Hall of Famer Justin Verlander to the mound as they look to secure a series win.
Lewis returns Friday in RF but Rodríguez a late scratch
Julio Rodríguez, who has been Seattle’s most valuable player this year in terms of wins above replacement (WAR), was in Friday’s lineup as the Mariners’ starting center fielder and leadoff hitter. But just before first pitch, the team announced Rodríguez was a late scratch. Later in the evening, it was announced that Rodríguez didn’t play due to left wrist soreness.
After Friday’s 5-2 loss to the Astros, Mariners manager Scott Servais explained what was happening with his star rookie’s wrist.
“We knew coming into the ballpark today it was maybe something we’re gonna keep an eye on. The last game before the break down in Texas, he tried to steal a base and got thrown out and in the first inning … and kind of jammed his wrist into the base there,” Servais said. “And certainly he had a lot of activity over the break.”
That activity, of course, was Rodríguez participating in the Home Run Derby on Monday, which was a day after that game against Texas. He then played in the All-Star Game, getting one at-bat and playing in center field.
Servais said they knew Friday that Rodríguez’s wrist was “a little bit tender” and that it “didn’t feel great in batting practice.”
“He was going to come in and get some treatment and again, we didn’t know he was going to be a late scratch until he went back into cage about 6:30 and our training staff just felt it wasn’t worth the risk running him out there,” Servais said Friday evening.
Servais didn’t seem too worried about Rodríguez’s status going forward, calling it “literally day-to-day.”
On Saturday, Servais told reporters that while he’s feeling better, the rookie likely won’t be available as a pinch hitter and trainers aren’t comfortable with him playing until he can swing a bat at 100%. (H/T Daniel Kramer, MLB.com)
As for Lewis, the 2020 Rookie of the Year returned to the Mariners’ lineup Friday night after missing nearly two months with a concussion. Lewis had played just four games — all as Seattle’s designated hitter — before suffering the concussion as his season started late due to recovery from a torn meniscus. That injury occurred last May.
Lewis hit sixth for the Mariners Friday night and also played in right field. It was his first action defensively at the MLB level since tearing his meniscus in center field on May 31, 2021.
Prior to Friday’s game, Servais told reporters that Lewis would play the field maybe two to three times a week and mix in some DH days, but that he won’t be playing every single day to start.
Additionally, Servais said that with Saturday being a day game after playing a night game Friday that Lewis was unlikely to play. The Astros are also starting Verlander, one of the toughest right-handed pitchers in baseball, on Saturday while lefty Framber Valdez starts Sunday for Houston.
With Rodriguez out, Dylan Moore will again start in center field. Sam Haggerty gets the start in right field for the Mariners.
J.P. Crawford, SS
Ty France, 1B
Jesse Winker, LF
Carlos Santana, DH
Eugenio Suárez, 3B
Adam Frazier, 2B
Cal Raleigh, C
Dylan Moore, CF
Sam Haggerty, RF
Logan Gilbert, SP
Jose Altuve, 2B
Jeremy Peña, SS
Yordan Alvarez, DH
Alex Bregman, 3B
Kyle Tucker, RF
Yuli Gurriel, 1B
Chas McCormick, LF
Jake Meyers, CF
Martín Maldonado, C
Justin Verlander, CF
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