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Slumping Mariners Superstar Poised For A Comeback

Julio Rodríguez is off to a slow start for the third time in as many seasons, but Seattle’s star center fielder is poised for a comeback. One of the most dynamic hitters in baseball, Julio Rodríguez is experiencing a major power outage nearly two months into the season.

Last year, Rodríguez became just the third active player with 60 homers and 60 doubles in his first two seasons. But the 23-year-old outfielder has not had the same success this year. He is batting .257/.306/.312 with just two home runs through his first 51 games. 

Rodríguez might be a player who needs more time to hit his stride. His second homer of the season came in last week’s series finale against Oakland, sparking an eight-game hit streak. Rodríguez was batting .406 with 13 hits, a home run, three RBI, and five runs during his eight-game hit streak. But the 23-year-old had just one hit (a single) in 15 at-bats during Seattle’s four-game series against the Yankees. His struggles led Mariners manager Scott Servais to drop him to sixth in the order for Thursday’s series finale in the Bronx.

Rodríguez has spent most of the season – and his career – in the top two spots in the batting order. Seattle’s star center fielder leads the American League in strikeouts (62), and his seven extra-base hits are the fourth lowest among qualified hitters.


Slumping Mariners Star Julio Rodríguez Could Make a Comeback

Julio Rodríguez is no stranger to the sixth spot in the order. It’s worth noting that last May, the two-time Silver Slugger was dropped to the sixth spot after a slow start. At that point last season, he hit just .204 before launching 32 homers and finishing fourth in MVP voting.

While dropping from the top of the order to sixth may come across as a demotion, Rodríguez sees it differently. “I feel like every time that you hit a little bit lower in the lineup, you can see all the guys, who the (pitcher) is working and stuff like that,” Rodriguez said.

Despite his early struggles, Rodríguez is hitting the ball hard, and his exit velocity ranks in the top nine percent. Rodríguez could be on the cusp of a comeback, and perhaps moving to the sixth spot can spark him like it did last season.

Main Photo Credits: Gregory Fisher-USA TODAY Sports


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