Mariners Notebook: Jarred Kelenic gets right to work on his recovery
Sunday is a busy day in multiple locations for the Mariners.
We start in Peoria, Ariz., where manager Scott Servais was beat to the Mariners’ complex by Jarred Kelenic, whose prime job now is to recover from the knee strain suffered Friday.
“He was the only player here ahead of me today,” said Servais in his morning conference with the media. “He was in the training room being very diligent in staying on top of what they are asking him to do. We will give it a few days to calm down and then I’m sure he will get after it as quick as he can. We need to be patient with this one, (but) we are not going to slow him down by any means. I know he will be the first one here every day because he wants to get back as soon as he can.”
While the Mariners haven’t announced a timeline for a return, Kelenic believes he will be recovered in a week, a time period that is not typical for a Grade 2 muscle strain. If that sounds ambitious, it is, but professional athletes have at their disposal all means for recovery. Ultimately, however, the call will be easy with the determination of when he can return left in the hands of the Mariners’ team doctors and trainers.
“I really trust in our medical group, I take their lead,” Servais said. “When they tell me he’s good, we will run him back out there. I also over the years realized that you need to trust players as well and trust what they are saying. Guys are really in tune with their bodies as Jarred is, but at the end of the day I trust our medical group and they will let me know when he is ready.”
Away from the training room, the Mariners will split into two groups with one heading to Tempe to take on the Angels in what is scheduled to be a six-inning game started by Logan Gilbert and the rest staying back and having the opportunity to get work in a sim game in Peoria.
Sam Haggerty, 2B
Luis Torrens, C
Kyle Lewis, CF
Ty France, 3B
José Maromolejos, 1B
Cal Raleigh, DH
Jake Fraley, RF
Donovan Walton, SS
Braden Bishop, RF
Logan Gilbert, SP
Gilbert is scheduled to get two innings of work in his first spring outing, and he will face a nice test as the Angels are running out the A squad.
David Fletcher 4
Mike Trout, CF
Shohei Ohtani, DH
Albert Pujols, 1B
Justin Upton, LF
Dexter Fowler, RF
José Iglesias, SS
Taylor Ward, C
Luis Rengifo, 3B
Jaime Barria, SP
Marco Gonzales is staying behind to pitch in the sim game as the Mariners prefer not to show starters to division rivals or early opponents in spring training. A number of regulars are also expected to take at-bats – as many as they would like. With no minor league side to draw from, a couple of coaches – one a future Hall of Famer – will help fill out the squads with Ichiro expected to play right field and Mike Cameron in center field.
“Mike Cameron was in early, he’s been in the hot tub, he’s getting new spikes,” Servais said. “I did see Ichiro putting pine tar on his bat and heading to the cage this morning so I am anticipating he thinks he’s going to get an at-bat so we probably will need to let him get an at-bat. He’s fired up.”
Ultimately the sim game will serve two purposes – first and foremost to get the pitchers needed work, but secondly, Servais is hoping to inject a little fun and break from the routine into the day. When the rescheduling of games occurred, the Mariners got the short end of the stick when it came to off days with their first falling after the first game of the Cactus League schedule and the second the day before the final game, leaving them with 26 straight to play. A Sunday afternoon contest against teammates and icons on a small field might be an appreciated break of sorts for some.