ARLINGTON, Texas — Even without a game on Thursday, Mariners fans can feel victorious knowing that Julio Rodriguez will be back in the starting lineup Friday night at Globe Life Park for the start of the three-team, nine-game road trip.
The Mariners announced that Rodriguez and catcher Curt Casali were reinstated from the 10-day injured list Thursday.
As expected, outfielder Jarred Kelenic was optioned back to Tacoma and catcher Luis Torrens was designated for assignment to make room on the active roster.
Manager Scott Servais said after Wednesday’s win over the Yankees that Rodriguez had a productive pregame workout and would be back in the starting lineup against the Rangers.
The rookie outfielder suffered a bruised right wrist/hand on July 30, getting hit by a 97-mph fastball from Houston reliever Rafael Montero. Before the injury, Rodriguez had a .271/.334/.482 slash line with 19 doubles, two triples, 18 homers, 57 RBI and 21 stolen bases in 96 games. Rodriguez has played just five games since the All-Star break. He had soreness in his left wrist after the home run derby.
The Mariners acquired Casali in a trade from the Giants on Aug. 2 along with pitcher Matthew Boyd despite both players being on the injured list.
The 33-year-old had suffered an oblique strain with the Giants on July 4. He had a .231/.325/.370 slash line with three doubles, four homers and 14 RBI in 41 games with San Francisco. He was with the Reds for multiple seasons and is comfortable catching Luis Castillo.
Kelenic, 23, played in 10 games (starting seven) in his call-up after Rodriguez was injured. He had two hits, including a homer, in 27 plate appearances with 11 strikeouts. In 40 MLB games this season, he’s posted a .124/.187/.266 slash line in 123 plate appearances with two doubles, a triple, four homers, 12 RBI, nine walks and 47 strikeouts.
The Mariners will hope Torrens can clear waivers and be optioned to Tacoma since he’s out of minor-league options. The 26-year-old has struggled at the plate this season, posting a .214/.262/.252 slash line with two doubles, one homer and 10 RBI. Coupled with his struggles defensively, the Mariners needed an upgrade. His best moment of the season was providing the walkoff hit as a pinch-hitter in the Mariners’ 13-inning win over the Yankees.