Servais: Julio Rodríguez ‘tentatively’ in Mariners lineup for opener at A’s

Sep 20, 2022, 3:27 PM | Updated: 4:52 pm

Mariners Julio Rodríguez...

Mariners CF Julio Rodríguez looks on during a game against the Angels on Sept. 19. (Photo by Katelyn Mulcahy/Getty Images)

(Photo by Katelyn Mulcahy/Getty Images)

The Mariners may get their best player back on the field Tuesday night. But, they also might not.

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On the latest edition of Seattle Sports’ Scott Servais Show with the Mariners manager, Servais said Julio Rodríguez is “tentatively” in the lineup for the team’s series opener in Oakland against the Athletics, but there may be a hurdle or two left for the rookie sensation to clear after missing the last three games with lower back tightness.

“He’s gonna get some treatment and kind of get worked up to see how he feels. There is a good chance he could play tonight, there’s also a chance he may not play,” Servais told Seattle Sports’ Bump and Stacy. “We’ll probably officially make that decision around 4 o’clock today, but we’re hopeful to get him back in there. He certainly means the world to us doing his thing in center field and at the top of our lineup, but also want to be smart and make sure he’s 100% – as close as you can get to 100% this time of year – before we run him out there.”

The Mariners did release their lineup with Rodríguez in it around 3:15 p.m., and while Servais’ comments left room for him to be still be scratched, 4 p.m. passed by with no news on Rodríguez, which in this case should be good news.

The Mariners did make one change, however. Ty France is now the designated hitter a day after being hit by a pitch on his foot with Carlos Santana moving to first base.

The 21-year-old Rodríguez was a very late scratch from the Mariners’ lineup last Friday night for a game against the Angels in Anaheim, with the change officially being made roughly 10 minutes before first pitch. He experienced the back discomfort coming out of batting practice that day.

Rodríguez has missed time here and there throughout the second half of the season with various minor injuries, most notably a wrist bruise that resulted in a short injured list stint. When healthy, though, he’s been the favorite for American League Rookie of the Year. He owns a .279/.343/.503 for an .846 OPS, and he recently became the quickest player in MLB history to join the 25/25 club with 25 home runs and 25 stolen bases in the same season, accomplishing the feat in just 125 games as a major leaguer, three quicker than previous record-holder Mike Trout of the Angels.

In other injury-related Mariners news, the team remains hopeful that power-hitting third baseman Eugenio Suárez could rejoin the club as a DH once his required 10 days on the injured list are up. Suárez fractured the tip of his right index finger last week, ruling out him being able to throw any time soon but leaving open the possibility that he could still swing.

Mariners insider of Shannon Drayer tweeted updates Tuesday afternoon from Oakland on Suárez, including that the word is “it is looking good for him to be able to swing the bat soon.”

Suárez leads the Mariners with 31 homers and 84 RBIs, and he is second on the team in games played (142) and OPS (.805).

The Mariners begin a three-game series against the Athletics at 6:40 p.m. Tuesday night. Coverage will be carried on Seattle Sports 710 AM, the flagship station of the Mariners Radio Network, beginning with the pregame show at 5:30. For details on how to stream the game depending on your location, click here.

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