‘It’s going to be a fun second half of the year,’ Mariners announcer Rick Rizzs declares despite recent injuries

Aug 1, 2022, 3:56 PM

Julio Rodriguez #44 of the Seattle Mariners injures himself on a strike three swinging in the eight...

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)

(Photo by Bob Levey/Getty Images)

Seattle Mariners rookie outfielder Julio Rodriguez landed on the 10-day injured list after taking a pitch to the hand in the eighth inning two nights ago, but Mariners announcer Rick Rizzs does not want recent injuries to dampen the season and the acquisition of All-Star pitcher Luis Castillo.

“Rodriguez is on the IL, his wrist really got swollen. Fortunately, you know, they took x-rays and there were no fractures. So that’s the good news,” Rizzs said on the Gee and Ursula Show. “The Mariners are really going to miss his bat in the lineup and Dylan Moore also went on the IL with back spasms, but the M’s found a way to get through adversity throughout the course of the year and they’re going to have to do it here for the next few days without Julio.”

Fann: With Julio out, Mariners need slumping players to step up

The rookie All-Star sensation has 18 home runs and 57 RBIs on a .271 batting average through 96 games while giving himself a substantial lead in the AL Rookie of the Year race.

Only Aaron Judge, right fielder of the New York Yankees, has a more significant lead for an end-of-the-year award. Judge is currently the heavy favorite for the AL MVP as the Yankees take on the Rodriguez-less Mariners for a three-game series in New York, starting Monday.

“The Yankees have one of the best teams in baseball, 69-34. On the year, Aaron Judge is on pace to hit about 66 [home runs], so they got to find a way to keep him in the ballpark,” Rizzs said. “Mariners have just come off the tough series against Houston Astros, two of the best teams in baseball, but I look for Marco Gonzalez to have a good night against this ballclub. His changeup plays really against the power hitters.”

The Mariners currently hold a 2-game lead over the Cleveland Guardians for one of the three wild card playoff spots. If Seattle can stave off the competition, the franchise will make the playoffs for the first time since 2001, the longest active drought in U.S. professional sports.

The Mariners’ last playoff opponent? The New York Yankees in the 2001 ALCS.

“It’s going to be a fun second half of the year,” Rizzs said. “The Mariners are right in the thick of the playoff race, in the wildcard race at the No. 2 spot, about 1.5 games behind the Toronto Blue Jays and 0.5 games in front of Tampa Bay. So it’s going to be fun, guys.”

The addition of 2-time All-Star Luis Castillo will also make the second half of the season more fun for Rizzs, Gee and Ursula, and Mariners fans alike.

The Mariners traded infielders Noelvi Marte and Edwin Arroyo and right-handers Levi Stoudt and Andrew Moore for Castillo, who becomes a free agent in 2024.

“This sends a great message to the guys in that clubhouse that they’re going for it. Jerry [Dipoto] really put together a ballclub that was going for it with the acquisition during the offseason of Jesse Winker, Eugenio Suárez, Adam Frazier, and you signed Robby Ray to a big contract. Now you add Luis Castillo to this already potent starting rotation. It’s a huge addition.”

Castillo is expected to make his debut for Seattle Wednesday against New York.

Listen to Gee Scott and Ursula Reutin weekday mornings from 9 a.m. – 12 p.m. on KIRO Newsradio, 97.3 FM. Subscribe to the podcast here.

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‘It’s going to be a fun second half of the year,’ Mariners announcer Rick Rizzs declares despite recent injuries