Mariners Choice Jarred Kelenic, Declare Adrian Sampson

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The Mariners introduced this afternoon they’ve claimed right-hander Adrian Sampson off waivers from the Cubs. They’ve additionally chosen outfielder Steven Souza Jr. to the large leagues instead of Jarred Kelenic, who was optioned to Triple-A Tacoma. Seattle additionally reinstated Sergio Romo from the 10-day injured listing, optioned Danny Younger and designated Stuart Fairchild and Yohan Ramirez for project to clear 40-man roster area for Sampson and Souza.

Kelenic’s demotion is probably the most notable of Seattle’s spate of strikes. A former sixth general decide and prime prospect, Kelenic has but to provide in opposition to massive league pitching. He struggled to a .181/.265/.350 line over his first 377 MLB plate appearances final season, hanging out in 28.1% of his journeys whereas hitting solely .216 on balls in play. The M’s absolutely hoped to see extra from the left-handed hitting outfielder within the early going this season, however that hasn’t but been the case.

Via 30 video games, Kelenic owns only a .140/.219/.291 mark. The teenager has gone down on strikes 36 occasions whereas making contact on solely 67.8% of his swings. That’s the Twelfth-lowest contact fee amongst 192 batters with at the very least 90 plate appearances, and the M’s have determined it’s time for a reset in opposition to Triple-A arms. It’s the second time in as a few years that Kelenic has been optioned after scuffling in opposition to MLB pitching, however he responded nicely throughout a month-long stint within the minors final summer season.

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The timing of Kelenic’s newest choice comes relatively mockingly because the M’s are headed to Queens for a weekend collection with the Mets. New York, in fact, initially drafted him and included him within the controversial Robinson Canó/Edwin Díaz swap. That seemed to be a coup for Seattle given Kelenic’s prospect pedigree, however he’ll clearly must carry out higher at any time when the M’s carry him again to the large leagues. There’s loads of time to take action, as he received’t flip 23 years outdated till July. Due to the canceled minor league season in 2020, the Wisconsin native has nonetheless solely performed 51 video games between Double-A and Triple-A.

Barring an exceptionally prolonged stint, the demotion doesn’t appear more likely to have an effect on his path to free company after the 2027 season. Kelenic entered the 12 months with 105 days of massive league service; gamers are credited with a full service 12 months for spending 172 days on an MLB roster or injured listing. He’s accrued roughly 36 extra days this 12 months, that means he must be within the majors for round a month extra to surpass the one-year threshold in 2022. How lengthy this keep in Tacoma lasts will little doubt be decided largely by Kelenic’s efficiency there, nevertheless it’s arduous to think about the M’s maintaining him down till September barring some main struggles in opposition to Triple-A pitching.

Within the meantime, Seattle will flip to the veteran Souza with Julio RodríguezJesse Winker and Dylan Moore as outfield choices. The 33-year-old has gotten sporadic MLB time with the Cubs and Dodgers over the previous couple years, however he hasn’t performed a full season within the majors since 2017. Signed to a minor league deal in Spring Coaching, Souza has gotten off to a superb begin with the Rainiers. He’s hitting .267/.417/.533 with 5 homers and a large 19.8% stroll fee in 22 video games. The 14-18 M’s will see if he can carry over that manufacturing in opposition to massive league arms to inject some life into an outfield that has underwhelmed.

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Fairchild was a part of that outfield combine very briefly. The 26-year-old was acquired from the Diamondbacks for money in late April and appeared in three video games, going hitless in a trio of plate appearances. A Seattle native, Fairchild was a second-round decide of the Reds in 2017 and has been traded twice in his younger profession. The M’s may have per week to deal him once more or attempt to run him by outright waivers.

That’s additionally true of Ramirez, who has pitched within the bigs over the previous three seasons. The suitable-hander owns a 3.97 ERA in 56 2/3 profession innings, hanging out a robust 28.6% of opponents. He’s additionally walked 15.2% of batters confronted, nonetheless, and he’d been tagged for 3 homers in his first seven outings this 12 months. The Mariners elected to maneuver on, however he works within the mid-90s and has a pair of minor league choice years remaining, so it’s potential one other membership takes an opportunity on him.

In his place, they’ll carry aboard a multi-inning choice from the Cubs. Sampson began 5 of his ten appearances for Chicago final season, tossing 35 1/3 frames of two.80 ERA ball. That got here with an underwhelming 19.3% strikeout fee and an alarming 2.04 homers allowed per 9 innings, however he pounded the strike zone and induced a good quantity of ground-balls. Chicago re-signed the righty to a minor league deal over the winter. He was chosen to the large leagues on Sunday, pitched in a single sport, then was designated for project.

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