10:46: X-rays were negative on Rodriguez, Jerry Dipoto said during an appearance on “The Front Office Show” on MLB Network Radio on SiriusXM (Twitter link). It seems unlikely that Rodriguez will play in today’s game and the M’s will continue to monitor the outfielder’s status, but early test results are “a good omen for the futureas Dipoto said.
10:06: Julio Rodriguez was hit in the right hand by a pitch in last night’s 5-4 win over the Astros, and ultimately had to leave the competition in the ninth inning. The rookie superstar was hit in the top of the eighth and he felt good enough to take the field for the bottom half of the inning, albeit a pinched hitter Abraham Torro replaced Rodriguez for a plate appearance in the ninth inning.
X-rays were scheduled for last night and the results could be a turning point in the Mariners season. A serious injury could sideline Rodriguez for most or all of the rest of the schedule – a worst-case scenario that would seriously damage Seattle’s chances of finally ending its playoff drought and cutting short the spectacular campaign of Rodriguez rookie.
Widely considered baseball’s hottest prospect, Rodriguez hit .271/.334/.482 with 18 home runs and 21 interceptions in his first 401 plate appearances in the majors. Between his power, speed and strong center field defense, Rodriguez already looks like one of the best all-around talents in the sport at 21, and has even drawn comparisons to the Mariners legend. Ken Griffey Jr.
Friday’s acquisition of castle louis is the latest sign that the Mariners are full steam ahead for the 2022 season, and whatever additional plans President of Baseball Operations Jerry Dipoto might have, they would surely be affected by Rodriguez’s status — if even a 10-minute trip days in IL is needed, the Ms might possibly look to add some exterior depth of field to fill in the gap. Ahead of yesterday’s game, Dipoto said the Mariners were “always open to the idea of adding a pen armbut played down the idea of the club taking another huge step forward.
Regarding offense specifically, Dipoto told The Seattle Times’ Ryan Divish and other reporters that the M’s rely heavily on inside returns from injured players. “We watch Mitch (Hanger) and adding Kyle Lewis last week like the moves our offense needed. That being said, we will stay tuned to the street if the opportunity arises. It’s just a little harder to see where it might be“, said Dipoto.
The M’s have already ceded quite a bit of land to Castillo, though with a deep farming system, Seattle has more to offer in other possible trades. In an article written before Castillo’s deal, Divish cited several young players either already on Seattle’s MLB roster or in their farm system and ranked them based on their likelihood of token swapping. Edwin Arroyo was the highest-ranked member of Divish’s roster to be dealt in the Castillo trade, with Arroyo landing in the third tier – dubbed the Division “it would hurt, but if it’s the right player(s)( s) in return”. Since Noelvi March was in the fourth tier, Seattle only had to move two of its top 10 young assets to land Castillo by Divish’s estimate, although obviously some of those assets (like Rodriguez or Logan Gilbert) are untouchable or nearly untouchable.
Jarred Kelenic was once seen as an unchanging type of prospect, and yet Divish hears from a scout that “the Mariners have made it clear they are willing to trade Kelenic to meet their immediate needs.” Kelenic hit just .173/.256/.338 on 473 AP in his first two major league seasons, with 17 homers and 142 strikeouts in that small sample. Even as he continues to tear up the Triple-A pitch, Divish notes that Kelenic has trouble hitting breaking pitches in the minors, and MLB pitchers have taken full advantage of his flaw. There would apparently be some sort of low selling aspect to moving Kelenic now, but the 23-year-old would surely attract plenty of interest in the trade talks.