Rookie outfielder Jarred Kelenic was back in the Mariners starting lineup Saturday after going 0 for 6, including striking out for the final out, in Friday night’s 8-7 12-inning loss to Kansas City.
The highly touted Kelenic, demoted to Class AAA this summer while in the midst of a 0-for-42 spell, has four hits in his last 38 at-bats with just one extra-base hit before going 2 for 4 in Saturday’s game.
Mariners manager Scott Servais does not seem too concerned about the most recent slump.
“It’s baseball, it happens,” Servais said. “There have been a lot of really good at-bats, and there have been some other at-bats where he gets anxious there, like all 22-year-olds I have ever met. He’s learning a lot, and he will continue to learn.”
Kelenic was hitting .147 across 243 big-league plate appearances through Friday with an OPS of .497. No one questions Kelenic’s talent, and Servais said it takes time to develop, no matter how talented the prospect.
“I think now-a-days, anytime a young player comes to the big leagues, they are not the final product,” Servais said. “They are far from it. He is still learning and learning to deal with certain situations. Sometimes you see him take a couple of steps forward, and like any young player, you might take a step back before taking another big leap forward.
“That’s where he is at in his development. He will continue to play center field for us, and he will continue to compete his tail off like he does every night.”
— Servais said Kyle Seager had some back soreness and tightness after Friday’s 4-hour, 40-minute game and was kept out of Saturday’s starting lineup.
Seager entered the game as the designated hitter in the seventh inning and went 0 for 2.
— Servais hopes outfielder Kyle Lewis (knee) will be able to begin a rehab assignment Sunday.
— Servais said Friday that the Mariners hope starter Justin Dunn (shoulder strain) will be able to throw a bullpen session in the next couple of days.
“If he is not able to do that, then I think we are in jeopardy of him not pitching again this year,” Servais said.