Headlines and Homers: Week of August 13th

Seattle Mariners v Kansas City Royals
Seattle Mariners v Kansas City Royals / Jamie Squire/GettyImages

Every Friday, we dive into the top headlines surrounding the hometown team and highlight the homer of the week. This "Headlines and Homers" edition includes a couple of Mariners making history, injury updates, and the biggest blast of the week. 

The dynamic duo makes history 

The series in Kansas City was too close for the fans liking, with every game coming down to the wire. The good news is the Mariners left Kaufman Stadium with a series win (3 of 4) and a couple of players etching their names in the history books. 

Superstar centerfielder Julio Rodriguez also became the second player in Major League history to blast at least 20 homers and steal 20 bases in their first two seasons.

Cal Raleigh also made history this week, belting a two-run homer against the Royals. That blast was the 50th of his career making him the second-fastest Mariner to hit that mark. First on the list? A lanky shortstop named Alex Rodriguez.

Crawford, Kelenic on the mend

President of Baseball Operations Jerry Dipoto joined Seattle Sports 710-morning show Brock and Salk for his weekly segment in which he discussed the current hot streak, the bullpen, and injury updates for two key players. 

Shortstop J.P. Crawford suffered a concussion last Wednesday when he collided with Eugenio Suarez on a ball in the hole. Concussions are always scary, with the New York Yankees' Anthony Rizzo being a recent test case. Well, Crawford is a few days away from rejoining the team. 

"If he continues to improve the way he has, we're likely to see him go out (on a rehab assignment) because it's been long enough," Dipoto said. "We're gonna have him go out and play at least one rehab game somewhere in the Northwest – it's probably going to be at Everett – sometime Friday, Saturday or this weekend with the hope that he can join us either at the end of the trip through Houston or when we get to Chicago."

Jerry Dipoto on J.P. Crawford

Dipoto added Jarred Kelenic is out of his walking boot and ramping up baseball activity in Arizona. The team expects the breakout star to rejoin the team in early September.

That guy looks familiar

When the Mariners signed a young teenager with enormous raw power, elite bat speed, and a 6'4 frame, the comparisons were easy. Scouts claimed Lazaro Montes had the build and skills to become the next Yordan Alvarez.

After a fledgling first year in the Dominican Summer League, he's flipped the switch with his strong play in the Arizona Complex League and the Modesto Nuts. He's slashing .302/.454/1.058 in 49 games between the two stops. One of the biggest developments is a 12% rise in contact rate and a stellar walk-to-strikeout ratio (41 BB/50 K).

Homer of the Week

The team launched several long balls this week in Kansas City, including three in one inning on Tuesday (Suarez, France, and Hernandez). However, this week's hardware goes to Julio Rodriguez for putting the team on his back and launching this no-doubter off Royal's relief ace Carlos Hernandez.

Rodriguez is on one heck of a heater, hitting .378 in August alone. It's a fantastic development as the team prepares to take on the Astros in Houston this weekend in another fantastic series between the two rivals.