1:00pm: Mariners manager Scott Servais tells reporters that Kelenic’s injury occurred last night after he kicked a water cooler out of frustration following a ninth-inning strikeout (Twitter link via Adam Jude of the Seattle Times).
An emotional Kelenic met with reporters and expressed remorse (video link via Divish). “I let the emotions get the best of me,” said Kelenic. “I just feel terrible — especially for the guys. I just let them down, and I take full responsibility for it. It’s on me. It can’t happen.”
12:33pm: The Mariners announced that Kelenic has been placed on the 10-day IL due to a fracture in his left foot. A timeline for his return was not provided.
12:28pm: The Mariners are planning to recall outfield prospect Cade Marlowe prior to today’s game, reports Ryan Divish of the Seattle Times. The 26-year-old will be making his MLB debut when he first takes the field. The team has not yet announced Marlowe’s promotion or a corresponding transaction, but Divish adds that Jarred Kelenic is wearing a walking boot pregame, so it seems likely there’s a pending trip to the injured list on the horizon.
Marlowe, a 20th-round pick in 2019, has elevated his stock from that humble draft status with consistently solid minor league showings — including a combined .287/.377/.487 slash between Double-A and Triple-A last year. Baseball America ranked him 16th among Mariners prospects heading into the season, noting that his speed, glove and power could make him at least a reserve outfielder in the Majors — despite questions about his hit tool.
Those concerns on his bat-to-ball skills were on display last year when he fanned in 38% of his 60 plate appearances at the Triple-A level. He’s pared that back to a more tolerable 25.4% in 2023, but Marlowe’s .255/.332/.461 slash in 319 plate appearances also represents a step back from last year’s production (and checks in below average in the hitter-friendly Pacific Coast League, per wRC+). He’s still popped 11 homers this season and gone 25-for-29 in stolen base attempts this season.
Marlowe is already on the 40-man roster, so the Mariners don’t need to make a corresponding move in that regard. With Kelenic sidelined, Marlowe will be in line for plenty of at-bats in left field. Like Kelenic, he’s a left-handed hitter.
Kelenic, 24, got out to a blistering start this season when he hit .308/.366/.615 in the season’s first month. He’s cooled off considerably since that time but still possesses a solid overall .252/.320/.429 batting line with 11 homers, 24 doubles, a pair of triples and a dozen stolen bases through 326 trips to the plate.
Outfield help already seemed like a potential area of focus for the Mariners in advance of the Aug. 1 trade deadline — they were linked to Mets outfielder Mark Canha just this morning — and the loss of Kelenic only figures to add to that. Offseason signee AJ Pollock has delivered just a .169/.222/.325 slash since signing a one-year deal, and trade acquisition Teoscar Hernandez has fallen shy of expectations with a .240/.294/.419 batting line in his first 395 plate appearances.