Jarred Kelenic is in left field and hitting leadoff for the Mariners on Thursday. (Getty)
The Mariners will get the suspense out of the way for their two big prospects making their MLB debuts on Thursday night.
Jarred Kelenic, the team’s No. 1 prospect per MLB Pipeline, will lead off the Mariners’ lineup in the 7:10 p.m. series opener against Cleveland, which airs on 710 ESPN Seattle beginning with the pregame show at 6. And before he gets a shot in the batter’s box in the bottom of the first inning, Logan Gilbert (MLB Pipeline’s No. 4 M’s prospect) will take the mound to start the game in the top of the first.
The arrivals of Kelenic and Gilbert in Seattle after short stints with Triple-A Tacoma in the last week is being met with much fanfare, and with good reason. Both players are believed to have high ceilings in the big leagues, were recent first-round MLB Draft picks, and have shined throughout their minor league careers.
Kelenic, 21, is a left-handed outfielder who Seattle acquired as the centerpiece of their return from the New York Mets in a blockbuster trade that sent Robinson Canó and Edwin Díaz to the Big Apple. The sixth overall pick in the 2018 draft, he has a .293/.368/.520 slash line (.888 OPS) in 179 games in the minors with 31 home runs, 42 doubles, 11 triples and 37 stolen bases. That includes six games this year with the Rainiers in Triple-A where he went 10 for 27 (.370) with two homers, a double and two steals.
Gilbert, who turned 24 this month, is a rangy right-hander who Seattle took 14th overall in the 2018 draft. The 6-foot-6, 225-pound Stetson University product allowed one run on four hits and no walks in his lone start this season with Tacoma, striking out five along the way. He has a 2.12 ERA, 0.943 WHIP and 5.15 strikeouts to walk ratio in 27 career starts in the minors (140 innings). He will have a pitch count of around 80-85 on Thursday.
It will be interesting to see how Gilbert is managed. The goal is to get him through a full season targeting 110-120 innings for the year. In a 6-man rotation he’s looking at about 20 starts the rest of the way.
Tonight his pitch count is 80-85.
— Shannon Drayer (@shannondrayer) May 13, 2021
The Mariners made a series of moves Thursday morning along with the calling up of Kelenic and Gilbert.
Paul Sewald, a 30-year-old right-handed reliever with 125 games of MLB experience over the past four seasons with the Mets, also joins them on Seattle’s roster from Tacoma. Relievers Aaron Fletcher and Wyatt Mills were optioned to Tacoma along with outfielder Taylor Trammell, while outfielder Braden Bishop was designated for assignment, and pitchers Nick Margevicius and Ljay Newsome were transferred from the 10-day injured list to the 60-day IL.
Mariners roster moves:
🔹Logan Gilbert, RHP, selected from Triple-A Tacoma.
🔹Jarred Kelenic, OF, selected from Triple-A Tacoma.
🔹Paul Sewald, RHP, selected from Triple-A Tacoma.
More on Gilbert, Kelenic and Sewald: https://t.co/BzPjl7TWdp
Corresponding moves below⬇️ pic.twitter.com/1LnVaHZ8QJ
— Mariners PR (@MarinersPR) May 13, 2021
The Mariners (18-19) have lost four straight coming into the four-game series with 20-14 Cleveland, which has won eight of its last nine.
Here’s a look at the full lineups for Thursday.
Jarred Kelenic, LF
Mitch Haniger, RF
Kyle Seager, 3B
Kyle Lewis, CF
Ty France, DH
J.P. Crawford, SS
Luis Torrens, C
Dylan Moore, 2B
Evan White, 1B
Logan Gilbert, SP
César Hernández, 2B
Amed Rosario, SS
José Ramírez, 3B
Eddie Rosario, LF
Franmil Reyes, DH
Josh Naylor, RF
Harold Ramírez , CF
Jake Bauers, 1B
Austin Hedges, C
Zach Plesac, RHP