The Seattle Mariners on Thursday called up a pair of prized prospects, outfielder Jarred Kelenic and right-handed pitcher Logan Gilbert, hoping to ignite a team that has fallen below .500.
Gilbert will get the start and Kelenic is expected to be in the lineup and play left field when the Mariners host the Cleveland Indians on Thursday night. It will be the major-league debut for both players.
Their promotions from Triple-A Tacoma, along with that of veteran right-hander Paul Sewald, were among a rash of moves by the Mariners.
The team optioned outfielder Taylor Trammell and pitchers Aaron Fletcher and Wyatt Mills to Tacoma, designated outfielder Braden Bishop for assignment, and transferred pitchers Nick Margevicius (thoracic outlet syndrome) and Ljay Newsome (UCL) to the 60-day injured list.
Gilbert, 24, is rated as the No. 28 prospect by MLB pipeline and No. 4 in the Mariners organization. He made one start in Tacoma, giving up one run in five innings and striking out five. The Mariners selected the 6-foot-6 Gilbert, a Stetson product, in the first round of the 2018 draft.
The Mets drafted Kelenic, 21, with the No. 6 overall pick in the 2018 draft. Later that year, they shipped him to the Mariners as part of the trade that sent Robinson Cano and Edwin Diaz to New York. MLB Pipeline lists him as the No. 4 prospect in baseball and tops in the Seattle organization.
In six games in Tacoma, Kelenic hit .370 with a double, two home runs, five RBIs and two stolen bases. In 2019, he was named the Ken Griffey Jr. Minor League Hitter of the Year after batting .291 with 80 runs scored, 31 doubles, five triples, 23 home runs and 68 RBIs in 117 games combined between Class-A West Virginia, High-A Modesto and Double-A Arkansas.
Sewald, 30, appeared in two games (one start) for Tacoma, allowing no runs in 4.1 innings of work. He gave up three hits, struck out 10 and walked none. In 68 career appearances with the Mets (2017-20), he is 1-14 with a 5.50 ERA with 51 walks and 151 strikeouts in 147 1/3 innings.
The demotion to Triple-A could help Trammell, 23, find his hitting stroke. In 27 games this season, he is batting just .157 with four runs, 11 RBIs, 10 walks and 41 strikeouts. A first-round pick by the Cincinnati Reds in 2016, he is another top prospect who has struggled in his first season.
Mills, 26, made his big-league debut on May 1 and has appeared in five games, going 0-0 with a 6.75 ERA (four earned runs in 4 2/3 innings) with three walks and three strikeouts.
In 47 games spread over three seasons (2019-21) with the Mariners, Bishop hit .133 with no home runs and eight RBIs.
The Mariners have fallen to 18-19 after losing six of their past eight games. The Mariners are last in the majors in team batting (.204) and on-base percentage (.281).
–Field Level Media