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Mariners’ Julio Rodríguez placed in IL with low back strain

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The Seattle Mariners rookie outfielder posted Julio Rodriguez on the injured list, the team announced on Friday. The move comes just a day after he left Seattle’s first inning game against the Oakland Athletics due to a tight back. Reports from Friday indicated that the Mariners expect Rodríguez to return before the end of the regular season, scheduled for Wednesday, October 5.

Rodríguez had recently missed three games because of his back. He had an MRI on Friday in Kansas City, where the Mariners are playing this weekend.

“As for,” Mariners manager Scott Servais told ESPN on Thursday. “It’s the same area in the lower back. He’ll go to work [Friday] when we’re in Kansas City, get an MRI and pictures of it.”

Rodríguez, 21, has been a sensation for the upstart Mariners this season. In his first 129 games, he hit .280/.342/.502 (144 OPS+) with 27 homeruns and 25 stolen bases (on 32 attempts). According to Baseball-Reference.com, Rodríguez’s contributions are worth an estimated 5.7 wins over substitution. He remains the likely frontrunner for the American League Rookie of the Year award.

The Mariners came in on Friday with an 82-67 record of the season, putting them in position to claim the third and final wildcard spot in the AL. The Mariners are half a game back from the Tampa Bay Rays for the second wildcard spot and 1 1/2 games behind the Toronto Blue Jays. Meanwhile, the Mariners are four games ahead of the Baltimore Orioles, the first team on the outside to look in. With only 13 games left to play, the Mariners look more than likely to be making their first postseason since 2001, marking the longest playoff drought in the sport.

READ  Mariners' Julio Rodríguez will likely be posted to IL the day after leaving the race with a tight back, per report

The Mariners wrap up their final road trip of the regular season this weekend against the Kansas City Royals.

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