MRI comes back clean for Mariners OF Julio Rodríguez

Jul 7, 2024, 12:17 PM

Seattle Mariners Julio Rodriguez Baltimore Orioles 2024...

Julio Rodriguez of the Seattle Mariners hits a solo home run against the Orioles on July 4. (Stephen Brashear/Getty Images)

(Stephen Brashear/Getty Images)

The Seattle Mariners seem to have avoided a significant injury to star center fielder Julio Rodríguez.

‘Classic slump’: MLB insider diagnoses what’s wrong with Julio’s swing

Rodríguez is out of the lineup for Sunday’s series finale against the Toronto Blue Jays, but manager Scott Servais said an MRI on the 23-year-old slugger’s sore right quad came back clean. Servais said he’d like to give Rodríguez the day off, but that he could be available to pinch-hit, depending on how he feels.

Rodríguez exited Saturday’s game in the first inning after moving around gingerly in center during the top half of the frame. Servais said Rodríguez felt tightness in his quad during pregame warmups, but tried to play through it.

“He’s gonna be fine,” Servais said. “He’s just a little bit sore. … We’ll check in later today. I would like to stay away from today if possible, but he’ll be moving around and see how that feels. But I think we’ve avoided anything real serious.”

With Rodríguez out of the lineup, Victor Robles is starting in center field and batting ninth for Seattle.

The Mariners have an off day Monday before opening a two-game series in San Diego on Tuesday night.

“He’s getting some treatment done today and hopefully off today, off day tomorrow, and he’ll be good to go and we pick it up in San Diego,” Servais said. “… I would like to stay away from today if we can, but if he tells me he’s good and we can shoot him in a pinch-hit spot, we could do that.”

After bursting onto the scene with a combined 60 home runs and .834 OPS over his first two seasons in the majors, Rodríguez has been mired in a season-long power slump. Through 90 games, he is hitting .247/.295/.335 with just eight homers and a .630 OPS that ranks 65th out of 69 qualified hitters in the American League.

In an attempt to rediscover his superstar form at the plate, Rodríguez spent the past week working with personal hitting coach Osvaldo Diaz. Rodríguez had a mini-breakthrough on Thursday, when he hit a home run and a double in the Mariners’ 7-3 win over the Baltimore Orioles. It marked his first extra-base hits since June 15 and his first game with multiple extra-base hits since May 12.

“We need this guy,” Servais said. “And I think the frustrating thing a little bit, he (was) starting to see the timing … at the plate. So (hopefully) it’s not a setback there at all, and I don’t suspect it will be.”

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