The Mariners announced a series of roster moves today, recalling outfielder Jarred Kelenic and selecting the contract of catcher Luis Torrens. In corresponding moves, outfielder Taylor Trammell was optioned to Triple-A while infielder/outfielder Jake Lamb was designated for assignment.
Torrens, 26, had a strong season for Seattle last year but struggled to carry that forward into 2022. He was hitting .214/.262/.252 in August, producing a wRC+ of just 53. For a catcher with a bat-first reputation, that was clearly not cutting it, leading the club to designate him for assignment. Torrens cleared waivers and was outrighted but will now return to the club just over a month later to get another crack at things. The M’s already have a couple of catchers in Curt Casali and Cal Raleigh, though Raleigh has missed a few games this week due to thumb soreness. Ryan Divish of the Seattle Times also adds that Casali is expected to go on paternity leave soon, compounding the need for some extra depth behind the plate.
Lamb, 31, began the year with the Dodgers but was traded to Seattle just prior to the deadline. He hit .239/.338/.433 for a wRC+ of 120 in Los Angeles but hasn’t been able to carry that up the coast with him. He’s hit just .167/.265/.300 since joining the Mariners, producing a wRC+ of 70. Due to that tepid showing, he’ll relinquish his roster spot to Torrens.
Of course, outside the 40-man roster implications, today’s moves also carry intrigue for Seattle given that they are swapping out a pair of young outfielders. Kelenic, 23, arrived with much fanfare in May of 2021 as one of the top prospects in the sport, but struggled in his first taste of MLB action. He’s been bounced on and off the club’s major league roster ever since but always scuffling in the bigs. Through 133 major league games so far, he has a batting line of .167/.246/.329 for a wRC+ of 63. He’s been on a heater in Triple-A this year, however, showcasing why he’s always been considered such an exciting young player. In 86 games for Tacoma this season, he’s hit 18 long balls and stolen nine bases, creating a batting line of .295/.365/.557 for a wRC+ of 123. Of course, he’s often hit well but then struggled after a major league promotion, but he’ll now get another chance to break that cycle.
The Mariners have been scuffling a bit lately but are still in good position to break their 21-year postseason drought. They are holding onto the final AL Wild Card spot at the moment, five games ahead of the Orioles with just two weeks left on the schedule. If Kelenic brings his hot bat up to the majors, he could both give the club a boost down the stretch and earn himself a spot on the playoff roster.