The Cleveland Indians don’t play until 10:10 p.m. ET Thursday night, but all eyes will be on this game.
The 20-14 Indians are not why the MLB world is staying up late.
No, it is all about some top prospect debuts for the Seattle Mariners.
Outfielder Jarred Kelenic and pitcher Logan Gilbert are both up with the club and the latter is on the mound to make his first MLB start.
MLB.com has Kelenic ranked No. 4 overall in baseball and Gilbert is close behind at No. 28.
That is a lot of hype and star power coming up at the same time and Mariners fans are excited.
The Indians now get to play the fun role of spoiler.
It isn't just Jarred Kelenic time for the M's. They're calling up right-hander Logan Gilbert, their top pitching prospect, and he's likely to start tomorrow, sources tell ESPN.
Big stuff happening in Seattle, where Kelenic, Gilbert and eventually Julio Rodriguez will be staples.
— Jeff Passan (@JeffPassan) May 12, 2021
Taking in History Thursday Night
The Mariners are a fascinating franchise.
The team never made the playoffs from 1977-1994, only to have a great run from 1995-2001.
Indians fans remember some of those postseason battles well.
However, Mariners fans have not seen postseason baseball since 2001 as the club remains in what seems like a perpetual rebuild.
That is why there is so much hype around Kelenic and Gilbert.
Kelenic in particular is seen as a potential superstar after the Mariners front office stole him away from the New York Mets in the Robinson Cano deal.
So while Indians fans may not care about what happens with the Mariners, it will be fun to watch some history.
The hype is real even if Kelenic turns out to be a bust.
Cleveland Not Waiting For a Savior
The Mariners need some young talent to come up and kickstart a new era in Seattle baseball.
The Indians, on the other hand, already have a few of those players.
Jose Ramirez and Shane Bieber are legitimate stars and perennial MVP candidates.
The problem in Cleveland is actually retaining the talent for the long-term.
As of right now there is no need for a top prospect to come up and save the day.
The Indians also lack a true star prospect like Kelenic.
Nolan Jones shows up at No. 30 overall in MLB.
This is an alright situation to be in now, but it wouldn’t hurt the front office to land a top prospect via a trade or in the draft sooner than later.
Playing Spoiler Thursday Night
Mariners fans will be tuning in for the two debuts.
The Indians, meanwhile, are looking for a fourth straight victory.
Zach Plesac will be on the mound against a Mariners team that has lost four straight.
With the @Indians reaching the 85% vaccination threshold, Zach Plesac is excited to get back to some normal team bonding activities.#OurCLE | @DreKnott pic.twitter.com/fauuA0maRc
— Bally Sports Cleveland (@BallySportsCLE) May 11, 2021
They are also rocking an ugly run-differential of minus-23 and have allowed 170 runs on the year.
The Indians have only allowed 124.
Fans in Seattle have a right to be excited.
But no one in Cleveland is hoping for any spectacular debuts in this series.
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