Mariners place breakout rookie Julio Rodriguez on injured list after hit-by-pitch vs. Astros

Perhaps the biggest breakout star of the MLB season is headed to the injured list.

The Seattle Mariners placed rookie outfielder Julio Rodriguez on the injured list on Sunday with a wrist injury. The good news for Rodriguez is that X-rays on the injury came back negative. But he’s going to be sidelined for several days, and possibly longer, after being hit by a pitch in Saturday’s 5-4 win over the Houston Astros.

The injury occurred in the eighth inning. Rodriguez swung at a 97 mph sinker from Astros reliever Rafael Montero. The inside pitch hit Rodriguez on his right wrist, leaving him in obvious pain.

He remained in the game on defense but was eventually lifted for a pinch hitter in the ninth inning when he was unable to swing a bat. He told reporters that it “felt weird right away” when he tried to handle a bat. While X-rays were negative, Rodriguez is slated for further testing on his wrist, including an MRI, according to Mariners manager Scott Servais.

“We will do everything the right way to make sure that he and our medical staff have a clear idea of what it is,” Servais told reporters on Sunday.

The Mariners estimated that swelling in his wrist would prevent Rodriguez from swinging a bat for five days. They declined to offer a further prognosis or timetable.

Retaliation from Mariners?

The first pitch of Sunday’s game from Mariners starter George Kirby hit Astros All-Star Jose Altuve in the shoulder.

Altuve took first base without further incident.

Will Mariners stay in playoff hunt?

Rodriguez, 21, joined the Mariners MLB roster as one of baseball’s top prospects shortly before the start of the season. He’s exceeded his high expectations with a breakout campaign that so far includes an All-Star berth and an invitation to the Home Run Derby. He was the favorite to win AL Rookie of the Year prior to his injury.

Through 96 MLB games, Rodriguez is slashing .271/.334/.482 with 18 home runs and 57 RBI. His 21 stolen bases were the fifth most in MLB on Sunday. He continued his star turn at the Home Run Derby earlier in July with a Derby-best 81 home runs before falling to champion Juan Soto in the final round. He was the only rookie to compete in the Derby. He’s helped lead the Mariners into playoff contention with a 55-48 record through Sunday.

HOUSTON, TEXAS – JULY 30: Julio Rodriguez #44 of the Seattle Mariners injures himself on a strike three swinging in the eighth inning against the Houston Astros at Minute Maid Park on July 30, 2022 in Houston, Texas. (Photo by Bob Levey/Getty Images)

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