Kelenic sidelined with left adductor strain

March 7th, 2021

PEORIA, Ariz. -- Mariners outfielder will be sidelined for the immediate future with a Grade 2 strain of the adductor muscle in his left knee, an MRI revealed on Saturday.

Kelenic, ranked as the No. 4 prospect in baseball by MLB Pipeline, tweaked his left knee coming out of the batter’s box in his first plate appearance on Friday against the White Sox. After exhibiting some pain and a consultation with manager Scott Servais and a trainer, Kelenic remained in the game until he made a scheduled exit following his second at-bat. The 21-year-old told Servais that he felt fine after returning home on Friday night.

Servais said after the Mariners’ 1-1 tie with the A’s on Saturday afternoon that Kelenic is “going to be out for a little while,” and that the injury is centered around the thigh and quad area connecting to his knee.

"I feel bad for him. He needs to play,” Servais said. “Knowing him -- he's a very intense young man -- he's going to do everything he can to get back on the field as soon as he can."

Servais didn’t immediately have a timeline, but it’s safe to expect that Kelenic’s recovery will be a matter of weeks and not days.

Kelenic has been an early standout in Spring Training, crushing towering home runs on the back fields and hitting the Mariners’ first long ball of Cactus League play on Wednesday against the Cubs. Beyond his performance, Kelenic’s situation has been one of the more prominent stories in baseball early in camp in light of his public disagreement with the club over his readiness to play in the Majors, which became more public in light of comments made by former president and CEO Kevin Mather.

The injury likely eliminates Kelenic’s chance to break camp on the 26-man Major League roster for Opening Day on April 1, given the time necessary to heal, recover and rehab. If he does not join the club until after April 16, Kelenic would not accrue a full year of Major League service time counted towards free agency.

Kelenic is in big league camp as a non-roster invitee for the second straight season. After spending the 2020 season at Seattle’s alternate training site, Kelenic has gone 2-for-8 with a homer and a walk during Spring Training.

“While disappointed that Jarred will be sidelined, we are relieved that the long-term outlook is positive,” Mariners general manager Jerry Dipoto said. “We all look forward to seeing him back on the field in the near future.”