Kensing’s arduous journey back to MLB comes full circle with Mariners
For Logan Kensing, being recalled by the Seattle Mariners earlier this week was a big deal.
The right-handed reliever, 33, made his Mariners debut on August 23 against the Chicago White Sox at Safeco Field. Before that outing, Kensing’s most recent appearance on a major-league mound was two-thirds of an inning of work for the Colorado Rockies in 2013, which came four years after his previous outing in 2009 with the Washington Nationals.
Suffice it to say, he’s had a rough time with injuries and making it back to the big leagues. Bone spurs effectively ruined his career in the 2009-2010 era, so finally getting back on the mound with the M’s this week made him quite proud.
Speaking with MLB.com’s Greg Johns, Kensing made sure to emphasize how he feels about it all: "It means a lot to me. But more importantly, we had a kid four months ago — three days after Opening Day — and for me it was more important to get back to the big leagues even if it was just for a day, just so I could say I played big league baseball while he was around."
As his injuries mounted and his ability to perform waned, Kensing told Johns, a lot of things start swirling in a player’s head regarding the ‘end of the line’, so to speak: "When you’re younger, you don’t think about the end. You get to the big leagues at 22 or 23 and think, ‘I’m going to be here forever.’ And it doesn’t turn out that way. But things start happening in your life where you get married and have kids. And for me, that was a milestone that I wanted more than anything, just for him to be able to say, ‘My dad was a big league ballplayer, and I actually saw it.’ He might not be able to remember it, but…"
Now, Kensing can point to this current stint with the Mariners as that milestone, that mark of accomplishment that he presumably thought was impossible just a few years ago.
Even if Kensing doesn’t stick around with Seattle, he’s at least made it through the hardest part of making it back to active duty. At only 33, he could presumably find a spot in another bullpen if he doesn’t wind up in the Mariners’ 2016 plans.