SEATTLE MARINERS

Ahead of facing Seattle Mariners, Jarred Kelenic says he’s learned from past struggles

Apr 29, 2024, 5:51 PM

SEATTLE (AP) — Jarred Kelenic walked into the visitors’ dugout with a smile on his face, ready to talk about his departure from the Seattle Mariners and how he’s finding comfort with his new situation in Atlanta.

Drayer: Why Mariners are sending Jonatan Clase back to Triple-A

“It feels like just yesterday I was sitting over there crying in front of you guys and talking about when I broke my foot. I feel like ever since then I’ve grown so much just as a person and as a player — really for the better,” Kelenic said Monday as the Braves opened a three-game series against the Mariners.

Kelenic was once deemed a future cornerstone for the Mariners, but could never match the expectations placed on him early in his career. He struggled at the plate, struggled dealing with failure and had a memorable emotional outburst last season that resulted in breaking his foot when he kicked a water cooler.

In 252 games with Seattle, Kelenic hit .204 with 32 homers and 109 RBIs. He was a standout defender, mostly in left field, but his struggles at the plate dominated the narrative about his stint with the Mariners.

The offseason saw Kelenic get traded to the Braves in a package that included pitcher Marco Gonzales as the Mariners sought to shed salary. It was a disappointing conclusion to his time in Seattle but also a fresh start.

“I tried to look at it as a new beginning and a new opportunity — no different than when I first got called up here,” he said.

Kelenic was in the starting lineup, playing left field and batting ninth in his return to Seattle. He entered the series having appeared in 21 of 26 games for Atlanta, getting almost all his playing time against right-handed pitchers, and was batting .305 while hitting mostly at the bottom of the order.

It’s a little different and less pressure than his time in Seattle, for which he was often in the middle of the lineup.

“My mentality when I’m in the box is just trying to get on base, especially hitting ninth (and) you’ve got (Ronald Acuna Jr.) hitting behind me,” Kelenic said.

While returning to Seattle brought up reminders, Kelenic said he’s not dwelling on the struggles he endured during his time with the Mariners.

“For me, I feel like a lot of the negative things that happened, I really learned from and they turned out to be really positive things in my life,” Kelenic said. “So I wouldn’t say that there’s anything that I regret. There’s things I would do different, obviously, looking back on it.”

More on the Seattle Mariners

Report: MLB to modify Nike uniforms after complaints by players, fans
Watch: Mariners call-up has memorable first MLB at-bat
By the numbers: Mariners pitching in midst of historically great stretch
Mariners ‘concerned’ as key reliever Matt Brash shut down
Watch: Breakout Seattle Mariners player gets revenge against old team

Mariners Roof Report

Brought to you by
Light Rain Likely then Showers And Thunderstorms
High 56° | Low 44°
No game today.

Seattle Mariners

Seattle Mariners lose to Baltimore Orioles...

The Associated Press

Seattle Mariners clobbered by Orioles 9-2 in series opener

Seattle Mariners starter Bryce Miller allows five runs in the first inning and the M's never catch up in a 9-2 loss to the Baltimore Orioles.

3 hours ago

Seattle Marines outfielder Julio Rodríguez...

Zac Hereth

Watch: M’s Julio Rodríguez get revenge with home run robbery

Seattle Mariners center fielder Julio Rodíguez get revenge with home run robbery of Baltimore's Anthony Santander.

3 hours ago

Seattle Mariners shortstop J.P. Crawford...

Zac Hereth

Mariners Injury Updates: Crawford, Polanco still out — here’s why

Seattle Mariners shortstop J.P. Crawford didn't travel with the team to Baltimore. Jorge Polanco also remained out of the lineup.

6 hours ago

Seattle Mariners players J.P. Crawford and Julio Rodríguez...

Zac Hereth

Ranked: 5 Seattle Mariners who need to step up

Seattle Sports' Mike Salk breaks down the five Seattle Mariners who could help the team most by stepping up their game.

8 hours ago

Seattle Mariners Nelson Cruz...

The Associated Press

Former Mariners great Nelson Cruz has a new job with MLB

Former Seattle Mariners All-Star Nelson Cruz will focus mainly on Latin American topics that include increasing player relations for MLB.

9 hours ago

Seattle Mariners Luke Raley...

Stacy Rost

Rost on Mariners: What we’ve learned a quarter through the season

Just over a quarter of the way into 2024, the Seattle Mariners are 24-20. What have we learned? Stacy Rost breaks down a few things.

11 hours ago

Ahead of facing Seattle Mariners, Jarred Kelenic says he’s learned from past struggles