SHANNON DRAYER

Mariners’ Julio Rodríguez putting in extra work to solve struggles

Jun 28, 2024, 8:32 PM

Seattle Mariners CF Julio Rodriguez...

Julio Rodriguez of the Seattle Mariners during a 2024 game. (Alika Jenner/Getty Images)

(Alika Jenner/Getty Images)

SEATTLE – If there was any question the 3 for 31 Julio Rodríguez posted on the Seattle Mariners’ recent road trip did not sit well with him, the sight at T-Mobile Park on the off day Thursday put that to rest.

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After playing 22 games in 23 days, the off day was well-earned by all, but Julio showed up at the office to get to work with Mariners hitting coach Jarred DeHart and his personal hitting coach, Osvaldo Diaz.

“He wants to get feeling better again,” said manager Scott Servais Friday afternoon. “Mechanically, there is a couple of things that are off a little bit, but the biggest thing is his timing.”

They were back at work with Diaz on the field Friday during early batting practice. During the session – parts of which Diaz recorded – Julio could be seen launching the ball, sometimes clearly happy with what he was doing and a few times shaking his head. In between rounds, he talked with Diaz, DeHart and former Seattle star Edgar Martínez.

“He needs to get the fastball out front,” said Servais. “There’s different ways to go about getting that to happen, whether or not he is getting pitched inside. I’ve talked to him a little bit about it, everyone has. It’s just trying to figure out what will click and make it work. Sometimes it is just one at-bat. You get the feeling, ‘Now I feel good again.'”

The Mariners work closely sharing player plans and checking in with the coaches players use while away from the club, and they have a good relationship with Julio’s group. While it doesn’t happen often, it is not completely out of the ordinary to have a private coach to travel to see a player during the season. It’s part of the team effort to solve the puzzle of Rodríguez’s struggles at the plate.

“The ability is still there, that has not gone away at all,” said Servais. “You just have to keep working through it until it clicks. It’s going to click. He’s too good not to.”

More on the Seattle Mariners

• Big Game Hunting: Two splashy potential Mariners trade targets
• Rost: The two things about first-place Mariners’ season that are baffling
Mariners Roster Move: Lefty called up to pitching staff
• 3 Takes: Big questions about Seattle Mariners halfway through season
• Lefko: Julio’s struggles magnify Seattle Mariners’ need to add impact bat

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