A little less than a year after tearing his right meniscus, Seattle Mariners outfielder Kyle Lewis is finally ready to see action in a competitive baseball game. After rehabbing for the last eleven months, Lewis has been assigned to the Triple-A Tacoma Rainiers to get a look at high-level pitching before returning to the Mariners lineup.
Kyle Lewis, the 2020 American League Rookie of the Year, re-injured his right knee chasing after a fly ball (shown in the photo above) last May 31st. It was the second major right knee injury of Lewis’s career, after tearing his ACL in 2016 with the Everett AquaSox in the first season of his professional career.
If Lewis performs well in Tacoma and proves his health, his eventual call-up to the Mariners will be welcome; outfielder Jarred Kelenic is off to a miserable start (.134/.203/.284 slash line) and could benefit from a demotion to Triple-A as soon as possible. Additionally, Mitch Haniger recently suffered a high ankle sprain and his return from the Injured List likely isn’t any time soon.
While he’s performed well defensively in the outfield in his career, Lewis’s injury history could limit him to a strictly DH role. If this is the case, his presence would still be valuable, as Mariners DH’s have also struggled as a whole; they’re hitting just .195 as a group on the season, good for 5th-worst in the American League.
Lewis will join the Rainiers on Tuesday and head to Salt Lake City, where Tacoma will take on the Salt Lake Bees in a three-game set. The series will be well worth monitoring; hopefully, we’ll see Lewis pop out in the box scores and, most importantly, out of the injury report.