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

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USATSIA

The Seattle Mariners are “probably” a rookie outfielder Julio Rodriguez on the injured list on Friday, according to Sports Illustrated’s Greg Bishop. The move would come just a day after Seattle’s game against the . had left come Oakland Athletics because of the tightness of the back. Bishop notes 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 was scheduled to undergo an MRI on Friday.

“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 wild card spot, and 1 1/2 games back from the Toronto Blue Jays. Meanwhile, the Mariners have a four game lead over the Baltimore Orioleslooking in from the outside for the first time. With only 13 games left to play, the Mariners look likely to be making their first postseason since 2001, breaking the longest playoff drought in the sport.

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The Mariners wrap up their final road trip of the regular season this weekend. They kick off a three-game set against the Kansas City Royals on fridaynight.

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