Tuesday, June 18, 2024

Trident and True


Julio Rodriguez does this thing where he takes a couple months to take off, just to give you the idea that he won't. It's happened in all of his MLB seasons to this point. Remember how his 2022 rookie year got off to a slow start only for him to go into full Julio mode and win the hearts of the MLB? Remember how last year he had a slow April but still ended up making an All-Star team and coming 4th in the MVP voting? Because he's still only 24, he's not at his full potential yet, and I have a feeling that in the next couple years, we will see him hitting .300 in April, and then all of y'all are gonna be running for cover.

Right now, Julio's doing...alright. He's hitting .268, he's got 29 RBIs and 7 homers, plus 16 steals, but you're seeing the RBIs and production begin to accelerate in the last few games. The one thing Julio is leading the league in right now is strikeouts, and yes, when I saw him in the Bronx, he certainly struck out a couple times. But again...this is around the point he kicks into high gear, and you're seeing things begin to pick up. He and Josh Rojas are tied for the highest WAR of the hitters on the Mariners, and I can already tell you that Julio's more crucial to this team's success than Rojas is. The other night he had another hero moment, and, again, you're seeing those begin to pick up. I think he's gonna catch fire this month.

It's about time someone did in this lineup, anyhow. The pitching's been much-heralded, even with Bryan Woo skipping a start, but not until recently has the hitting been anything at all. Rojas, Raleigh and Rodriguez have been improving, and now you're seeing Dominic Canzone, Luke Raley and...somehow Victor Robles all joining in on the fun. It's somewhat disheartening that Ryan Bliss and Tyler Locklear, and the since-demoted Jonatan Clase, haven't completely taken to the majors yet, given the pressure surrounding their promotions, but hopefully they get there. 

Look, the Mariners are in first because they're outpitching everybody. That is abundantly clear. Nobody's hitting Gilbert, Castillo, Kirby, Gilbert, Hancock or Woo. They're just not. And nobody's hitting Andres Munoz either. I think what's keeping them in first is the slow build of the lineup, and guys like Julio and Raleigh finally showing up and keeping this team from being an all-arm, no run support type of team [like they kinda were in May]. The Rangers can outhit these guys, that's for sure, but this series proved that they really can't get past this rotation, and that's gonna go a long way as the season rolls on.

As for Julio? He let you catch your breath. Be grateful for that.

Coming Tonight: A former Mariner ironically, wondering what exactly he's gonna do without a newly-injured star player.

No comments:

Post a Comment