Dipoto on Mariners OF: Marlowe’s hot streak, Kelenic’s status

Aug 12, 2023, 9:44 AM

Seattle Mariners Cade Marlowe...

Cade Marlowe of the Seattle Mariners rounds the bases after hitting a grand slam on Aug. 3, 2023. (Kevork Djansezian/Getty Images)

(Kevork Djansezian/Getty Images)

When young Seattle Mariners outfielder Jarred Kelenic went down with a broken foot as a result of kicking a water cooler, the M’s turned to another young outfielder in Cade Marlowe.

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It’s safe to say the early returns have been pretty darn good for Marlowe, who made his MLB debut last month.

During his weekly Seattle Sports visit with Brock and Salk, Mariners president of baseball operations Jerry Dipoto shared his insight into Marlowe’s play, as well as what could happen to the team’s outfield when Kelenic is ready to return.

Dipoto said there’s no update with Kelenic aside from he’s at the team’s complex in Arizona. Kelenic hasn’t played since July 19.

But when he’s ready to return, that gives the Mariners no shortage of options in the outfield with Kelenic, Marlowe, Julio Rodríguez, Teoscar Hernández and young trade acquisition Dominic Canzone.

Dipoto called that “a very good problem to have.”

“The good thing is again, they’re young athletic players,” Dipoto said specifically of Kelenic, Marlowe and Canzone. “We are flexible. (Each of Kelenic, Marlowe and Canzone) has minor league options if it’s necessary … The odds of us all being healthy and ready to go by the time JK walks back out are pretty remote. That’s just the way baseball works. And we’ll manage it when we get there, and we’ll see what happens.”

Dipoto did give a big vote of confidence to Kelenic, who started 2023 red hot before cooling off but was on a seven-game hitting streak before landing on the injured list.

“We are a better team with Jarred and I hope that he does make it back in time to help us get to where we want to go,” Dipoto said.

So what about Marlowe?

The rookie has been great since debuting, putting together a .326/.420/.558 slash line (.978 OPS) with two home runs, two stolen bases and nine runs scored.

Marlowe has already had some big moments for the Mariners, such as a game-tying pinch-hit single against the Boston Red Sox and a go-ahead ninth-inning grand slam against the Los Angeles Angels.

For Marlowe, his mental approach to the game is very notable, Dipoto said.

“His focus is so good. And I’ll say this: We’ve talked at times through the years about (catcher) Tom Murphy and Tom’s preparation, his focus, the intensity that he brings to the table. Cade Marlowe has that kind of focus,” Dipoto said. “He’s a different level of focused, and it’s really shown up. And it started to show up, frankly, about two years ago.”

The Mariners drafted Marlowe in the 20th round of the 2019 MLB Draft out of West Georgia, a Division-Two school. Almost immediately upon entering the Mariners’ system did he start to grab the attention of Dipoto and others because of his all-around tools and skills.

“He has always managed at-bats, gotten on base, he has power, he has speed, he’s a good baserunner, he can play all three outfield spots and he’s done it at the minor league levels,” Dipoto said. “In consecutive years in ’21 and ’22, he was the only minor leaguer across all organizations who stole 20, hit 20 bombs and drove in 100 runs. So he wasn’t an unknown to us.”

Marlowe has put up some big numbers over the years in the minors, and Dipoto said that Marlowe is prone to going on “heaters” where he’s red hot at the plate.

“The one thing that has been true of Cade in his time as a Mariner is when he gets on a heater, he takes it to a different level,” Dipoto said. “He becomes the best player on earth for a period of time, it seems. And he started to heat up last month in Tacoma … And he’s in the middle of one of those heaters right now. And the at-bats have been awesome.”

Listen to the latest Jerry Dipoto Show at this link or in the player near the top of this story.

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