Much has been made in the last few hours (and days, weeks, and months, really) of the late-2018 trade between the New York Mets and the Seattle Mariners that sent Jarred Kelenic to the Western part of the country; and Edwin Diaz and Robinson Cano to Queens.
The Mariners are visiting Citi Field for their weekend series, but they won’t be doing so with Kelenic on the roster.
“Jarred Kelenic has been optioned to Class AAA Tacoma,” Seattle Times reporter Ryan Divish tweeted this afternoon.
Jarred Kelenic has been optioned to Class AAA Tacoma.
— Ryan Divish (@RyanDivish) May 13, 2022
It’s always shocking to see such a talented player being demoted, but given his performance, it was the Mariners’ only choice.
In 96 plate appearances, the young outfielder is slashing .140/.219/.291 with three home runs.
After a lousy 2021 with the M’s, it looked like he had turned a corner in September, but he struggled right out of the gate in 2022, too.
He Hasn’t Figured Out MLB Pitching Yet
In 473 plate appearances as a major leaguer combining his 2021 and 2022 performances, he is hitting .173/.256/.338 with 17 homers and 10 stolen bases.
Kelenic hit .320/.392/.624 in 143 Triple-A plate appearances last year, though, so he doesn’t have many things left to prove in the minors.
This move is about creating a roster spot and having him play every day: with the Mariners, the last part wasn’t happening.
A 22-year-old young player needs as many at-bats as he can handle, and there is little sense in having a struggling young player taking the field two or three times per week.
The Mariners are also hoping that the move will help Kelenic regain some confidence as a hitter.
He will need to cut on his strikeouts and make hard contact more consistently, but he has the tools to succeed eventually.