Kyle Lewis, the 2020 American League Rookie of the Year and once-hoped next franchise face for the Seattle Mariners, posted a video on Instagram (@klew_1) on Tuesday showing off a few swings at a training facility in Tampa, Florida. After a grim report on Lewis’s future from Mariners President of Baseball Operations Jerry Dipoto in November, even news regarding Lewis as seemingly frivolous as a batting cage session is encouraging for Mariners fans.
"“It’s a very much wait-and-see process. We have to plan our offseason as if whatever [Lewis] gives us (next year) is a bonus”. – Jerry Dipoto via Mariners beat writer Ryan Divish"
After hitting the Injured List with a significant knee injury in late May last season (the third major knee injury of Lewis’s career), Kyle Lewis was unable to contribute during Seattle’s postseason chase over the final couple of months of the season. With Dylan Moore and Jake Fraley posting underwhelming performances in a platoon situation in left field during that stretch, Lewis’s presence on the roster was missed more than ever.
Looking forward to the 2022 season, the Mariners’ outfield is still a question mark; as the roster stands, Moore and Fraley are still slated to split time in left field. Obviously, the MLB offseason is in at a standstill during the current MLB work stoppage, but it was somewhat discouraging to see Seattle’s only pre-lockout acquisitions be a second baseman and starting pitcher (although Adam Frazier and Robbie Ray filled major needs on the roster, as well).
Perhaps, Kyle Lewis is making faster rehabilitation progress than what Dipoto originally predicted in November? Let’s hope so, because any Mariners fan would agree that they’re ready to see the former Rookie of the Year back in the lineup.