The Seattle Mariners are in the midst of a five-game losing streak, but they are much more concerned with long-term development than short-term success.
That much was made clear when the Mariners not only called up top pitching prospect Logan Gilbert—the 24-year-old is MLB Pipeline's No. 28 overall prospect—but gave him his first major-league start against the Cleveland Indians on Thursday.
Gilbert was expectedly raw, taking his first loss after giving up four earned runs and striking out five in four innings pitched as Seattle fell 4-2. The defeat didn't shake him, though.
"I definitely feel like I belong here and my stuff plays up here," Gilbert said, per ESPN. He added:
"Definitely don't get away with all the mistakes that maybe I did coming up. And of course, just falling behind in the count, they are usually gonna make you pay for it. So when I did leave pitches out over the middle of the plate, more often than not they took advantage of them."
Gilbert, taken in the first round (No. 14 overall) out of Stetson University in the 2018 MLB Draft, did get off to a strong start at T-Mobile Park by enjoying a 1-2-3 top of the first inning on just eight pitches.
Logan Gilbert says he did hear the pregame ovations and made sure to take a minute in the bullpen to take it all in. The 8-pitch 1st inning was a blur for him.— Jen Mueller (@JenTalksSports) May 14, 2021
Gilbert is just one face of the youth movement in Seattle. The Mariners also called up 21-year-old 2018 No. 6 overall pick Jarred Kelenic, who debuted in the outfield Thursday night.
MLB Pipeline currently has Kelenic at No. 4 overall, with fellow Mariners outfield prospect Julio Rodriguez at No. 5.
Against the Indians, Kelenic fouled out, struck out swinging, grounded out and flied out in four plate appearances. To be fair, the Mariners only mustered two hits against starter Zach Plesac.
Mariners rookie Jarred Kelenic hits the first pitch he sees in the majors to right field for a . . . (result below).pic.twitter.com/7FOwQD6LLP— Sporting News (@sportingnews) May 14, 2021
Like Gilbert, Kelenic's spirits remain high.
What. A. Day.— Jarred Kelenic (@JKelenic_1019) May 14, 2021
Truly no words can describe the amount out support I’ve gotten in the last couple days. Yesterday was a dream come true and can’t thank each and everyone of the people who helped me get here and make this a reality 5•13•21 A day I’ll never forget. pic.twitter.com/BN6Kaa1owV
The Mariners will try to snap their slump Friday night, as their four-game home series against Cleveland continues, beginning at 10:10 p.m. EST.