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Sports >  Seattle Mariners

Mariners’ Julio Rodriguez lands on 10-day injured list with back strain

Sept. 23, 2022 Updated Fri., Sept. 23, 2022 at 8:23 p.m.

By Adam Jude Seattle Times

KANSAS CITY, Mo. – Seattle Mariners star rookie Julio Rodriguez has been placed on the 10-day injured list because of lower-back discomfort, the club announced just before the start of Friday’s game against the Royals at Kauffman Stadium.

Rodriguez traveled with the team from Oakland, California, to Kansas City and had an MRI on his back Friday.

He would be eligible to return for the Mariners’ final regular-season series against Detroit on Oct. 3.

Manager Scott Servais did not offer details on the nature of the injury, beyond noting that Rodriguez was feeling discomfort on the right side of his back, just above the glute muscle.

“He’s still a little bit sore today,” Servais said Friday.

Rodriguez, the front-runner for American League Rookie of the Year, missed three games on this road trip against the Angels when his back discomfort first flared up last weekend.

He returned to the lineup in Oakland on Tuesday and Wednesday. On Thursday he led off the game with a double and scored on a Mitch Haniger single.

But after taking his position in center field to start the bottom of the first, Rodriguez had to exit the game when the back flared up.

The Mariners (82-68) are three games ahead of Baltimore (79-71) for the final American League wild-card spot with 12 games remaining. They lost 5-1 Friday night at Kansas City to open a three-game series.

Jarred Kelenic was in the lineup as the starting center fielder against the Royals. Kelenic, in his first game since being recalled from Triple-A Tacoma, took over in center field for Rodriguez on Thursday and had a home run and a key RBI double. He was 1 for 4 with two strikeouts on Friday.

Kelenic will be the regular center fielder while Rodriguez is out.

“Jarred got off to a great start (Thurday). He had a really good game,” Servais said. “That’s what I was hoping for – get some confidence going and see if he can take it and run with it. He’s going to play. … I was anticipating his reps would come in the corner (outfield spots), but with Julio out now he’ll be playing in center field. And we’re going to let him run with it.”

Outfielder Taylor Trammell was recalled from Tacoma on Friday, two days after being sent down.

Suarez makes progress

There was one promising injury update from the Mariners. A week after fracturing the tip of his right index finger, Eugenio Suarez fielded ground balls at third base and took part in a round of batting practice at Kauffman Stadium.

Suarez isn’t making any throws, but the M’s are hopeful he will return from the IL when he’s eligible Tuesday, the first day of their final homestand of the season

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