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J-Rod downplays slow start: 'I will never stress so much' so early

Steve Russell / Toronto Star / Getty

Seattle Mariners star outfielder Julio Rodríguez isn't concerned about another slow start at the plate.

"I feel like people get so caught up in what's happening right now, and they just focus right here, when there is a whole big picture that is developing," Rodríguez said Monday, according to Daniel Kramer of "I will never stress so much when it's so early in the year. You're always going to try and be good and everything, but if things don't play out, you have so much time that you can continue to work on things, continue to put the right work in."

Rodríguez entered Tuesday's action with a .190/.250/.206 slash line with zero homers and five RBIs through 17 games for a slumping Mariners club that's gone 7-10.

The 23-year-old preached patience considering how difficult it actually is to hit well at the major-league level.

"A lot of times, we forget that we do the hardest thing in the world of sports," Rodríguez added. "I feel like we cannot get ourselves so down ... especially this early. You've always got to try and do your best, obviously, and all that. But if you go out there and put your 'A' swing, and they just make a really good pitch, then that's kind of 'tip your cap.'"

Rodríguez, who was the 2022 AL Rookie of the Year and finished fourth in AL MVP voting last season, struggled with consistency in 2023, slashing .251/.315/.423 with 17 homers through the first 103 games before tearing up the majors with 15 long balls and a .972 OPS over 52 contests in August and September.

The Mariners ended up missing the playoffs by one game last year.

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