Julio Rodriguez injury update: Mariners star rookie on injured list after sprained wrist

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Seattle Mariners wunderkind and AL Rookie of the Year favorite Julio Rodriguez has avoided a major injury, though he is headed to the injured list. Rodríguez was hit by a pitch in the right wrist area against the Astros (SEA 5, HOU 4) on Saturday night and left the game after one inning. On Sunday, the Mariners confirmed the X-rays were negative, but Rodriguez is in enough pain to miss time.

“We’ve got some guys going to IL. One will be Julio Rodriguez,” Mariners manager Scott Servais said Sunday (Video link). “He got hit by the pitch last night. The X-rays were negative but he’s really sore. He probably won’t have a bat in his hand (for the next) five days soon. Just let him take it easy. I think everybody’s yours. Wrist, your hands know how sensitive that area is. Let’s fix it. Let’s make sure he’s completely healthy when he comes back.”

This is the pitch that killed Rodriguez. It was a 96.9 mph sinker that got away from Rafael Montero.

Utility man Dylan Moore was also placed on the injured list Sunday. He has a back problem. Outfielders Jared Kelinek and Jack Larson were called up in the same moves. Kelenic was removed from the Triple-A lineup Saturday night after Rodríguez’s injury. He is hitting .288/.353/.530 ​​with 11 home runs in 54 Triple-A games this year.

Rodríguez, 21, has quickly emerged as a star-level player this season, hitting .271/.334/.482 with 18 home runs and 21 stolen bases. Add in his strong outfield defense and he has been a 3.7 WAR player through 96 games. Rodríguez has a chance to become the first 5-WAR rookie in the American League since Aaron Judge in 2017.

At 55-47, the Mariners are two games back of the Blue Jays for the top wild-card spot and a half-game up on the Rays for the third wild-card spot. They are usually three games into a wild card spot. Seattle hasn’t been to the postseason since 2001, Ichiro’s rookie year.

Rodríguez missed Seattle’s first four games of the second half with a left wrist injury sliding into second base in the game before the All-Star break. This new injury is obviously unrelated.