Dipoto says Mariners didn't rush Kelenic: We want to 'give him a breather'

Abbie Parr / Getty Images Sport / Getty

The Seattle Mariners sent Jarred Kelenic back to the minors Monday after an inauspicious start to his major-league career, but the front office insists the team didn't rush its top prospect.

"We don't think he's overwhelmed by the level of play," Mariners general manager Jerry Dipoto said Tuesday, according to Corey Brock of The Athletic. "Frankly, we're not sending him back to Triple-A because he struggled; we're sending him back to Triple-A just to give him a breather and remember how to do the things that he does well.

"We believe he'll succeed. He's just not doing that right now."

The Mariners promoted Kelenic to the majors on May 13 after he dominated every level of the minors. But that success didn't immediately translate to the big leagues: The 21-year-old outfielder was 8-for-83 on the season and riding an 0-for-39 skid when Seattle demoted him.

"I think we called him up at the right time," Dipoto said. He added: "It's easy to be a backseat second-guesser, and the same thought might prevail if he came up and crushed it from the beginning, and we would have been criticized for being too slow."

Kelenic returns to Triple-A Tacoma, where he began the year going 10-for-27 with two homers and a pair of steals.

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Dipoto says Mariners didn't rush Kelenic: We want to 'give him a breather'
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