Julio Rodriguez Struggles Early, but Mariners Remain Optimistic

Mariners centerfielder Julio Rodriguez is off to a slow start in 2024, batting .247 with one home run and 11 RBIs through 40 games. Despite struggles, Rodriguez showed signs of life with a 435-foot homer on April 23, and the Mariners remain confident he'll break out soon.

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Bijay Laxmi
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Julio Rodriguez Struggles Early, but Mariners Remain Optimistic

Julio Rodriguez Struggles Early, but Mariners Remain Optimistic

Seattle Mariners centerfielder Julio Rodriguez is off to a slow start in 2024, batting just .247 with a 29.4% strikeout rate through his first 40 games. The two-time American League Silver Slugger winner has only one home run and 11 RBIs, a far cry from the 60 homers he launched over his first two major league seasons.

Opposing pitchers have adjusted their approach against the 23-year-old phenom, attacking him inside early in counts before enticing him to chase breaking balls off the plate. "You have to earn your pitches to hit by laying off the bad ones," Mariners manager Scott Servais said. "With Julio, it's about staying aggressive, swinging at the right pitches and understanding how teams are going to pitch to him."

Despite the early struggles, the Mariners remain confident their young star will break out soon. Rodriguez showed signs of life on April 23, blasting a 435-foot homer to left-center field at Globe Life Park that left his bat at 110.5 mph. "It was 'long time, no see' to my good friend," Rodriguez quipped about his first long ball of the season.

In a recent series against the Oakland Athletics, Rodriguez hit a 110-mph liner that was snared by a leaping catch at the right field wall, robbing him of extra bases. The A's won that game 8-1, with starter Joey Estes allowing just one run over five innings to notch his first major league win.

The Mariners have reached the quarter pole of the 2024 season, giving Rodriguez ample time to find his groove at the plate. The centerfielder had a similar slow start in 2023 before rebounding to hit .284 with 32 homers and 26 steals, finishing second in AL MVP voting. "When he stays behind the ball, the ball goes in the air -- and it's electric," Servais said. With his immense talent and track record, it may only be a matter of time before Rodriguez's bat comes alive and he resumes mashing baseballs all over the yard.

Key Takeaways

  • Julio Rodriguez is off to a slow start in 2024, batting .247 with 1 HR and 11 RBIs.
  • Opposing pitchers are attacking him inside early and enticing him to chase breaking balls.
  • Mariners manager Scott Servais says Rodriguez needs to stay aggressive and swing at right pitches.
  • Rodriguez showed signs of life with a 435-foot homer on April 23 and a 110-mph liner in a recent game.
  • The Mariners remain confident Rodriguez will break out soon, citing his past success and immense talent.