Mariners prospect Jarred Kelenic will be out of action after an MRI revealed a strain in his left adductor muscle, the team announced. Kelenic suffered the injury during Friday’s game against the White Sox.
No mention was made of a recovery timeline, apart from GM Jerry Dipoto saying “we are relieved that the long-term outlook is positive. We all look forward to seeing him back on the field in the near future.” Ryan Divish of the Seattle Times estimated that Kelenic is likely to miss “a few weeks” of time, which would rule out any chance of Kelenic making the Opening Day roster. Kelenic has yet to play any Triple-A ball in his brief pro career, and it now seems as if he will indeed begin his 2021 season with Triple-A Tacoma.
Kelenic’s MLB debut date has been the subject of controversy in recent days, stemming from the infamous comments made by now-former Mariners president/CEO Kevin Mather during a video speech to the Bellevue Breakfast Rotary Club in February. Mather openly discussed how the M’s had no intention of calling up any of its top young prospects from the alternate training site last season, and hinted that the team was planning to keep Kelenic and Logan Gilbert in Triple-A long enough this year for the Mariners to gain an extra year of team control over their services. Kelenic and his agent later commented that he would have made his Seattle debut in 2020 had Kelenic accepted a long-term contract extension that would have given the M’s even more team control over Kelenic’s future.
A consensus pick as one of baseball’s top 10 prospects, the 21-year-old Kelenic was the Mets’ choice as the sixth overall pick of the 2018 draft, and the centerpiece of the Mariners’ return in the blockbuster deal that sent Robinson Cano and Edwin Diaz from Seattle to New York in December 2018. The trade already looms as a pivotal moment in Mariners history, and it will become even more impactful should Kelenic and Justin Dunn live up to lofty expectations.