Mariners Notebook: Kyle Lewis’ knee ‘not coming along’ quickly as hoped
With Kyle Lewis’ name not in the Mariners’ lineup for a fourth straight day after banging what is believed to be his left knee into a wall Monday in a game against the Dodgers, concern is to be expected – especially when it was initially believed that Lewis would be able to return to the lineup Wednesday as the designated hitter.
“It’s not coming along as quickly as I hoped or Kyle hoped or anybody else,” Mariners manager Scott Servais said Friday afternoon. “We are staying patient… He’s not 100 percent and I don’t want to put him out there until he feels 100 percent, so that’s why he’s not out there (Friday against San Diego).”
Servais went on to say that the team had done some tests on Lewis’ knee and that everything looked structurally “OK.” (For those wondering, the devastating leg injury Lewis suffered early on in his pro career happened to his right knee.) Servais did however indicate that they are taking a closer look.
“They are running a few more tests, but until the player tells me he’s 100 percent I’m not putting him in a spring training game,” Servais said. “That just doesn’t make sense. I will take the advice of the training staff and talking with the player and hopefully he gets out there before we leave camp, but the focus is to make sure we are ready for April 1.”
And if Lewis isn’t able to get into either of the Mariners’ two remaining spring training games?
“There is concern,” Servais acknowledged. “You like guys to roll right into the regular season but with our clunky schedule we only have the one game Monday. It’s not like he’s missing a ton of time. It’s not ideal, but again I trust the player and the medical staff in where he’s at. When they tell me he’s 100 percent he will be in there.”
With the “clunky” schedule, the Mariners’ contest against the Reds on Monday is their only game in the four days leading up until opening day next Thursday, April 1. The Mariners will run sim games and live BPs on some of those days, but this obviously is not the ideal build up for anyone.
While Servais gave no hint that Lewis’ injury would turn into an injury list situation or that it would be considered if he missed time, it’s worth keeping in mind that spring training IL moves are retroactive to March 29 only, in which case Lewis would not be available for the opening homestand.
Kelenic reassigned to minors camp
The Mariners announced a few moves Friday night, including Jarred Kelenic and Julio Rodríguez being reassigned to minor league camp. We will have more on the move with Kelenic after he and/or Servais speak to the media.
Roster moves. pic.twitter.com/wi0O7fSEmE
— Shannon Drayer (@shannondrayer) March 27, 2021
Mitch Haniger, RF
Ty France, 2B
Kyle Seager, 3B
Evan White, 1B
Dylan Moore, DH
Taylor Trammell, CF
Tom Murphy, C
Jake Fraley, LF
J.P. Crawford, SS
Marco Gonzales, SP
Game info: Mariners at Padres, 6:40 p.m., 710 ESPN Seattle
No pitch count for Gonzales tonight – within reason. Rather, the Mariners would like him to get him up six times which with the ability to bring in relievers to finish innings if necessary.
• Baseball is mourning the loss of Minnesota Twins bench coach Mike Bell, who died Friday morning in Phoenix after being diagnosed with kidney cancer just six weeks ago.
“I want to send my condolences out to his family, everybody close to Mike,” Servais said. “I had the opportunity to work with Mike, knew him pretty well from my days being the farm director when he was with the Arizona Diamondbacks. Certainly know the Bell family very well. It’s sad news for a great baseball family and a great guy. I feel for him and I feel for his family.”
Bell comes from one of baseball’s rare three-generation families, the son of former big league player and manager Buddy Bell, the younger brother of current Reds manager and former Mariners third baseman David Bell, and the grandson of four-time All-Star Gus Bell. He was 46.
• Earlier this week, Servais said that he had hoped that Seattle’s final roster decisions would be made before the Mariners’ day off Sunday. It appears they are on track, with conversations with players expected to continue Saturday. No word yet when the final 26 will be announced publicly.
• Yusei Kikuchi threw 91 pitches in a sim game Friday afternoon, giving up five hits, three walks and striking out seven. Domingo Tapia also threw in the sim game, his first appearance since straining an oblique muscle earlier in camp. Tapia threw 20 pitches with the fastball sitting 97-98 mph. There is still no word on whether James Paxton will pitch in an A game or B game Saturday.
• Turns out Shed Long suffered a second setback in his return from offseason shin surgery, this one inadvertently self-inflicted. According to Servais, Long fouled a ball off his toe about 10 days ago in a live BP session.
“He’s starting to pick it up now,” said Servais. “He needs to play. I’m thinking that he probably needs to spend some time with the guys down here in Arizona to get up to playing speed before he would go anywhere else.”