Mariners send rookie OF Jarred Kelenic down, reinstate Shed Long Jr.

Jun 7, 2021, 1:35 PM | Updated: 4:52 pm
Mariners Jarred Kelenic...
Jarred Kelenic's average dipped under .100 with his recent slump. (Getty)

Prized prospect Jarred Kelenic’s first stint with the Mariners didn’t go as planned, and the team will now see if he can get back on track in the minors.

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The Mariners announced Monday afternoon that Kelenic, who is hitting .096 and mired in an 0-for-39 slump, has been optioned back to Triple-A Tacoma. Taking his place on the active roster is second baseman/utility player Shed Long Jr., who just completed a rehab assignment with the Rainiers after coming off shin surgery late last year.

The 21-year-old Kelenic is ranked as Seattle’s top prospect and the No. 4 overall prospect in baseball by MLB Pipeline, but he struggled to find a foothold in the big leagues after receiving his call up from Tacoma on May 13.

Drayer: What Mariners’ Jarred Kelenic can get out of return to minors

Though he had a standout 3-for-4 performance with a home run, two doubles, two runs scored and three RBIs in his second MLB game on May 14 vs. Cleveland, he would end up going hitless in 16 of his 21 starts, many of which he was penciled in as Seattle’s leadoff hitter. He went without a hit in 10 straight starts before Monday’s move, and strikeouts began to mount more and more over time, with 17 of his 26 punchouts coming over his nine most recent starts.

Kelenic initially served as Seattle’s left fielder until shifting to center when Kyle Lewis landed on the injured list last week. He hit two home runs and two doubles, stole three bases in three attempts and walked eight times over his 23 games with the M’s.

The Mariners no doubt hope that Kelenic can find the success that fellow rookie outfielder Taylor Trammell did when he was sent down to Tacoma following a rough stint to begin the season with Seattle.

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Long, 25, will be making his season debut with his first appearance back with the team. Initially a Reds prospect who Seattle acquired via trade prior to the 2019 season, Long has a .223/.294/.383 slash line (.677 OPS) with eight home runs, 17 doubles, a triple and seven stolen bases over 76 MLB games with the Mariners since 2019.

Long is likely to see a good amount of playing time at second base, especially with Dylan Moore still working his way back from a calf strain.

In addition to the moves with Kelenic and Long, the Mariners also transferred utility player Sam Haggerty (right shoulder inflammation) from the 10-day injured list to the 60-day IL.

The M’s are off Monday and start a new road series with the Detroit Tigers at 4:10 p.m. Tuesday. Coverage will be carried on 710 ESPN Seattle beginning with the pregame show at 3 p.m.

Follow Brent Stecker on Twitter.

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