NEW YORK – Jarred Kelenic won’t face the team that drafted him and traded him to the Mariners.
On the one-year anniversary of his MLB debut, Kelenic was optioned to Class AAA Tacoma before Friday’s series opener vs. the New York Mets at Citi Field as the Mariners made a total of eight roster moves.
• Sergio Romo, RHP, reinstated from 10-day injured list.
• Steven Souza Jr. (No. 21), OF, selected from Triple-A Tacoma.
• Mike Ford (No. 70), INF, reports to club.
• Adrian Sampson, RHP, claimed off waivers from Chicago-NL.
• Danny Young, LHP, optioned to Triple-A Tacoma.
• Stuart Fairchild, OF, optioned to Triple-A Tacoma and designated for assignment.
• Yohan Ramirez, RHP, designated for assignment.
Jerry Dipoto, the Mariners president of baseball operations, said Thursday on his weekly radio show that roster moves were coming after a 2-5 homestand that sunk the Mariners to a 14-18 record.
Kelenic, 22, appeared in 30 games with the Mariners this season, posting a .140/.218/.291 slash line with two doubles, a triple, three home runs, 10 RBI, four stolen bases and nine walks.
As Kelenic continued to struggle over the last dozen games, the Mariners started limiting his plate appearances vs. tough left-handed pitching in hopes that success vs. right-handed pitching could get him going. It didn’t happen.
Over his last 16 games played (12 starts), Kelenic posted a .105/.209/.211 slash line with a double, a homer, three RBI, five walks and 16 Ks in 43 PAs.
The strikeouts and his inability to hit with two strikes became a major issue. In two-strike counts, Kelenic had just three hits in 52 plate appearances, posting a .059/.077/.078 slash line with one walk and 36 strikeouts.
This is the second time that Kelenic’s struggles at the MLB level have forced the Mariners to send him down to Tacoma for a reset to find his swing, approach and confidence.
After making his debut on May 13, 2021, he played in 23 games, posting a .096/.185/.193 with two doubles, two homers, six RBI, eight walks and 26 strikeouts. At the time of his demotion, he was mired in an 0-for-39 stretch (44 plate appearances) that included five walks and 17 strikeouts.
The MLB record for longest hitless streak by a position player belongs to former Orioles first baseman Chris Davis, who went hitless in 54 at-bats (62 plate appearances) over the end of the 2018 season and the start of the 2019 season.
The 39-year-old Romo will provide some help in leverage situations. After two scoreless appearances, he was placed on the 10-day injured list (right shoulder inflammation) on April 13 (retroactive to April 12). The right-hander made one major league rehab appearance with Triple-A Tacoma, tossing an inning on May 10. In two appearances with Seattle this season, Romo is 0-0 with a 0.00 ERA (0 ER, 2.0 IP) with three strikeouts.
Souza Jr., 33, was penciled into right field for Friday’s starting lineup, batting .267 (20×75) with five doubles, five home runs, 17 RBI, three stolen bases and 19 walks in 22 games with Triple-A Tacoma this season. A native of Everett and Cascade High standout, Souza signed a split contract this season, meaning he will make $1 million with this call-up.
Ford, 29, was re-acquired by Seattle from San Francisco in exchange for cash considerations after being traded by the Mariners to the Giants in exchange for cash considerations on April 30.
Sampson, 30, is a Skyline grad and had a brief stint with the Mariners in 2016. He will report to Triple-A Tacoma.
Fairchild, 26, appeared in three games with Seattle this season after being recalled from Triple-A Tacoma on April 30. He was acquired in a trade from Arizona in exchange for cash considerations on April 23.
Young, 27, made his major league debut with Seattle on May 9 vs. Philadelphia, tossing 2 1/3 scoreless innings, allowing three hits with one walk and three strikeouts. The left-hander was signed by Seattle to a minor league contract on Feb. 9, 2022 and was invited to major league spring training. He’s appeared in nine games with Triple-A Tacoma this season, going 0-0 with one save and a 7.00 ERA (7 ER, 9.0 IP) with two walks and 15 strikeouts.
Ramirez, 27, made Seattle’s opening day roster and was optioned to Triple-A Tacoma on April 28. He appeared in seven games with Seattle, posting a 1-0 record with a 7.56 ERA (7 ER, 8.1 IP) with six walks and 10 strikeouts.