March 25, 2023 8:03 am

GOODYEAR, Ariz. — Julio Rodríguez  returned to the Mariners from the Globe Baseball Classic sooner than he would’ve liked, but now that he’s back, the reigning AL Rookie of the Year has shifted his concentrate solely to Opening Day. 

“It felt like our bodies have been in Spring Education, but our minds have been just like racing,” Rodríguez mentioned. “But it was enjoyable. It was enjoyable just becoming there and acquiring in the spirits with all the guys and acquiring to speak to all of them and choose up some stuff from them. It was fairly fantastic.”

Rodríguez went five-for-18 with a double and 3 RBIs more than 4 games for Group Dominican Republic, which failed to make it out of Pool D play right after losing a winner-take-all game against Puerto Rico on Wednesday. It was a disappointing finish, provided that Group D.R. was arguably the preferred to win it all, but there have been a handful of massive moments for the 22-year-old — none larger than his diving catch in the left-center-field gap in that elimination game.

“I was absolutely hyped right after that one particular,” Rodríguez mentioned. “I absolutely created a small bit of a error prior to that, and becoming in a position to generally get myself back with each other and be there for the group, even even though we did not get the benefits that we wanted.”

The error he referenced was on a one particular-hop line drive from Francisco Lindor that sailed previous Rodríguez’s left side, reached the center-field wall and turned into an inside-the-park homer. It was a frustrating moment, but one particular emblematic of Rodríguez’s potential to rapidly flush the negatives, a lot like he did early in his rookie year.

Beyond the blunder, the Classic represented ten extended days in Miami that spanned feelings of humility to rewarding to overwhelming — all elevated with the pride of playing for his homeland alongside superstars like Manny Machado, Juan Soto, Rafael Devers and new teammate Teoscar Hernández. 

Rodríguez played in the postseason and All-Star Game as a rookie in 2022. How did the Classic evaluate?

“I just really feel like it really is a various fanbase,” Rodríguez mentioned. “It’s like people today that grew up in the Dominican Republic and that is what they know. And it really is just various, like it’ll in no way be the very same. … Each and every time you see a Dominican group taking the field, you are going to see these flags. I just felt like they are going to celebrate us every single time that we get on the field.”

Mariners manager Scott Servais highlighted that Rodríguez also might have discovered the advantage of “structure,” especially in sustaining a routine that became so detailed, however seamless throughout his 1st complete season.

“You take players from all various organizations and what ever, you sort of throw them all with each other, and you are not really utilized to that,” Servais mentioned. “Sometimes, your routine, your system, gets a small bit out of whack and it really is just not as comfy. That is what the structure does. It creates a self-confidence level and a comfort level like, ‘OK, I am prepared to go correct now.’ So he’s content to be back.”

Saturday marked Rodríguez’s seventh Cactus League game. With the frequent season looming and right after the emotional highs and lows of the Classic, he’d like to get as several reps prior to the March 30 opener at T-Mobile Park against the Guardians. Due to the fact as the lights get brighter in his sophomore season, Rodríguez intends to be deliberate about his top rated priorities: baseball, functionality and competitiveness.

“I really feel like I am back on my track and sort of with all the flow of factors right here,” Rodríguez mentioned. “The timing, I’ve absolutely got to get some much more at-bats and get it going for the season.”