Yankees' Aaron Judge experiment could backfire big-time
Terry Collins had 'desperate' thought during Johan Santana's Mets no-hitter
Rays' dominance shines light on worst Yankees fears
Three moves Yankees must make to give awful lineup a boost
Ex-Yankee David Robertson hopes Olympic chance is path back to MLB
The agita level registers impressively low in the Mets’ universe, further proof that winning cures all.
Think of Jarred Kelenic’s struggles in Seattle as an ancillary vaccine.
The rookie, traded by the Mets less than a year after they drafted him sixth overall in the highly controversial move that brought Edwin Diaz and Robinson Cano to Citi Field, entered the Mariners’ Thursday night game at the Angels trapped in the kind of funk that is common to rookies, no matter their ceiling, if uncommon to big-name Mets dealt away. The left fielder is no Scott Kazmir or Nolan Ryan, immediately making the Mets regret their mistake.
No, while Diaz has settled in as the Mets’ closer and Cano performed the favor of failing a test for illegal performance-enhancing drugs, drawing a yearlong suspension for 2021, the 21-year-old Kelenic brought a ghastly .111/.200/.222 slash line, in 19 games totaling 80 plate appearances, into Thursday. That included an ongoing 0-for-28 funk.
The verdict on this deal, executed by Brodie Van Wagenen shortly after becoming the Mets’ general manager, requires much more time before a rendering. However, as the Mets try to establish more positive vibes under new owner Steve Cohen, building a sizable National League East advantage despite their storm of injuries, it helps their vibe — improves the mood of their emotionally battered fan base, to be more specific — that Kelenic isn’t haunting them. Not yet, anyway.
“I think he’s adjusting to major league pitching and stuff right now,” Padres manager Jayce Tingler, whose club swept Kelenic’s Mariners May 21-23 at Petco Park, said Thursday, before his team opened a weekend home set with the Mets. “But he’s physical. Strong legs. Good runner. I think the one thing that stood out, I thought he knew the strike zone very well for a young player.
“So I think he’s got the chance to be — and I know Seattle feels pretty strong — that he’s going to be a guy not only for this year, but part of their future.”
Seattle naturally feels that way — deposed president Kevin Mather shared the team’s plans to manipulate Kelenic’s service time in order to keep him around a seventh season before free agency — although the M’s will let that notion breathe a little. For Kelenic’s first 17 major league starts, Seattle led him off. Then it lowered him to sixth on Tuesday and slotted him fifth on Thursday. If he can’t work his way out of this funk, the Mariners will have to contemplate the dreaded return to the minor leagues, never a fun possibility for a prospect this hyped. Kelenic started the season ranked fifth overall among rookies by MLB.com.
Back at the 2019 Futures Game in Cleveland, Kelenic, just months removed from the trade, hid neither his surprise over getting dealt away nor his determination to make it big in the majors. He even threw out this unprovoked thought: “It’s unfortunate the Mets didn’t work out right away, but who knows? I could always come back there. I never want to burn any bridges there.”
Right now, in Queens, Kelenic has regressed from sore subject to curiosity. The cruel truth is that his struggles, his adjustments, make it easier to be a Mets fan. If this poor start turns out to be something more severe than a freshman malaise, then baseball — and the beautiful city of Seattle, so hungry for a baseball contender — will suffer. There will be no suffering, though, among Mets fans, who have contributed more than their share of heartbreak to the baseball universe.
Share this article:
Source: Read Full Article