Mariners likely to wait extra day to bring Julio Rodríguez back from IL

Aug 9, 2022, 2:15 PM | Updated: 2:34 pm
Mariners Julio Rodríguez...
Julio Rodríguez claps as he is introduced before a game against the Houston Astros. (Photo by Alika Jenner/Getty Images)
(Photo by Alika Jenner/Getty Images)

The Mariners have multiple key players close to coming back from injury, and no upcoming return is more eagerly anticipated than that of 21-year-old All-Star Julio Rodríguez.

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Fans may have to wait a little more longer than hoped for that, but not much longer. On Tuesday’s edition of The Scott Servais Show on Seattle Sports, the Mariners manager said the team expects to wait an extra day to activate him from the 10-day injured list, which would actually give Seattle’s center fielder and leadoff hitter a couple more days to get ready.

The M’s wrap up their homestand Wednesday at 1:10 p.m. against the Yankees, then will be off Thursday before beginning a road trip in Texas on Friday.

“After swinging the bat yesterday, he still felt it a little bit,” Servais told Michael Bumpus, Stacy Rost and Shannon Drayer on his weekly show on The Dugout. “He still feels much better than he originally did, but with the off day coming up after the Wednesday day game, we think it’s probably best to not try to rush him back in there tomorrow. We’ll see how he does today as he goes through a full workout and swinging the bat and whatnot, but we need to be smart with this thing.”

Rodríguez landed on the IL on July 31, the day after he was hit on the right wrist while swinging at an inside fastball by Houston’s Rafael Montero. And that’s not the only wrist injury he’s dealing with, as he missed the first four games after the All-Star break last month with a sore left wrist he initially injured sliding into second base on a steal attempt that was likely aggravated by his participation in the Home Run Derby and All-Star Game over the following two days.

“We want Julio back in the worst way – I think everybody does – but we also want him to be back at a point where he can go out and compete and feel good about where he’s at with both those wrists,” Servais said. “So hopefully we can get him back once the road trip starts over in Texas.”

The Mariners’ offensive performance without Rodríguez is a pretty clear indication of how important he is to the lineup, as they’ve gone 4-4 and scored three runs or less in half of those games. Needless to say, getting a player back with stats like Rodríguez’s this year – .271 average, .816 OPS, 18 homers, 57 RBIs, 55 runs scored and 21 steals in 96 games – would be a big boost.

Servais emphasized how important it is to let the injuries get as close to healed as possible in order to limit the likelihood of a flare-up down the line while the team tries to secure a playoff spot.

“We’ve got to do the right thing here, the smart thing. We’ve got a lot of important games ahead of us yet to go and want him back as close as we can get him to full strength,” Servais said. “I don’t think anybody this time of year is going to be at 100% but giving him an extra day probably is the most logical decision.”

The Scott Servais Show airs at 1 p.m. each Tuesday on Seattle Sports Station 710 AM, SeattleSports.com and the Seattle Sports app as part of The Dugout, an hour of Bump and Stacy dedicated weekly to Mariners talk, analysis and interviews. You can listen to a podcast of this week’s edition at this link or in the player below.

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