‘Odd couple’: Mariners’ Scott Servais shares first impressions of Jarred Kelenic, Logan Gilbert after debuts

May 18, 2021, 4:11 PM
Mariners Jarred Kelenic...
Logan Gilbert (background) was all smiles after Jarred Kelenic's first MLB home run. (Getty)

When it comes to the younger players the Mariners are building the future of their franchise around, you would be hard-pressed to find two personalities that are more different than those of Jarred Kelenic and Logan Gilbert.

Only natural that they would then become roommates, right?

Mariners Table Setter: Kelenic is here, but the whole OF is the story

That appears to be the case after Kelenic, the fiery 21-year-old outfielder, was called up by the Mariners at the same time last week as Gilbert, the calm and collected 24-year-old starting pitcher.

“I think it’s perfect. It’s the odd couple,” Mariners manager Scott Servais said Tuesday during the weekly Scott Servais Show on 710 ESPN Seattle’s Jake and Stacy. “They are extremely different, and even Jarred admitted it when he said to me they were going to be staying together in an apartment. He said, ‘We’re perfect. We’re total opposites.'”

Luckily there is one very important trait that they share.

“Logan, you get to know him, much different than Jarred just personality-wise but very similar in their competitiveness and how they go about things and their preparation,” Servais said. “… I think it’s great (that they’re going to be roommates). They get along well, they’ve played together some, they know each other, so good for those guys.”

Servais had a lot to say about what he’s seen from Seattle’s two big rookies during the interview with Jake Heaps, Stacy Rost, and Mariners insider Shannon Drayer. Let’s take a closer look.

Kelenic “learning on a daily basis”

With five big league games already under his belt entering Tuesday, Kelenic has had a lot more chances than Gilbert since they got their calls up from Triple-A. And while Kelenic has reached base just once aside from a huge three-hit night last Friday, Servais said he is seeing good signs from Seattle’s new leadoff hitter.

“Getting the opportunity to spend time with him in spring training and be around him a little bit the last couple of years, very impressed. The thing that stands out for me, first of all his competitiveness and his work ethic,” he said. “This guy wants to be great, and coming to work every day, (he’s) asking great questions, talking to our veteran players, our coaching staff, trying to pick up everything he can. Finally getting the opportunity to see him play at T-Mobile Park was exciting for me and everyone, and I thought he handled himself really well.

“Certainly Cleveland’s got a good pitching staff. You know, he had the big night Friday night with the home run and a couple other hits, and he’s learning. He’s learning on a daily basis and we’re going to give him plenty of opportunities because he’s an exciting young player.”

Kelenic’s confidence is well known, and that can make him come off as brash at times, but Servais pointed out that there’s much more to him when he’s around the team.

“He fits in great with our group here. I think the one thing that goes unnoticed, being a young guy with a lot of hype or a lot of accolades thrown around about him, he’s a very good teammate. He desperately wants to win and be a big part of what we’ve got going on here going forward and getting this ballclub back into the playoffs.”

Gilbert’s poise stands out

Gilbert started in his MLB debut last Thursday, and the results weren’t exactly what he was hoping for as Cleveland homered two times and scored four runs off of him in four innings. But how Gilbert responded is something Servais said was very important.

“I was really impressed with Logan. I thought his poise was outstanding,” he said. “Being a starting pitcher, it’s you, you’re alone on the mound, and I thought he handled himself extremely well. You know, he made a couple mistakes, he left a couple breaking balls up in the zone that they got on, but he did not back off. He got right back on the mound. He didn’t walk anybody in his entire outing, ended up with five strikeouts, and I do think he’s going to learn very, very quickly.”

Gilbert will get his second chance on Wednesday when he starts in the finale of the Mariners’ three-game series against Detroit, which is set for a 7:10 p.m. first pitch on 710 ESPN Seattle.

“He’s already talking about some of the things that he learned in that first outing and how to make a few adjustments going forward,” Servais said. “He pitches for us (Wednesday) night and I’m really anxious to see how he looks the second time out there.”

You can listen to this week’s Scott Servais Show in its entirety in the podcast at this link or in the player below.

Follow Brent Stecker on Twitter.

M’s rookies Jarred Kelenic, Logan Gilbert describe their MLB debuts

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‘Odd couple’: Mariners’ Scott Servais shares first impressions of Jarred Kelenic, Logan Gilbert after debuts