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Mariners Notebook: Kyle Lewis to IL with meniscus tear; T-Mobile Park capacity to expand

Mariners CF Kyle Lewis injured his right knee on this play Monday. (Getty)

The Mariners have seen their fair share of injuries already this season. So many that it seems they’re now starting to repeat themselves.

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Kyle Lewis, the Mariners’ center fielder and the 2020 American League Rookie of the Year, is headed to the 10-day injured list again for a right knee injury. It’s the same right knee that Lewis suffered a deep bruise on late in spring training, keeping him out of action for nearly three weeks to start the season.

Manager Scott Servais said during his weekly interview on 710 ESPN Seattle that Lewis has a “very small” meniscus tear in his right knee. Not only is it the same knee Lewis injured in March, but it’s the knee he had surgically repaired in 2016 after suffering a devastating injury sliding into home plate during his first season in the minor leagues.

Servais told 710 ESPN Seattle’s Shannon Drayer, Stacy Rost and Jake Heaps that Lewis suffered this most recent injury in Monday’s win over the A’s when he made a leap trying to catch a deep fly ball to right-center that turned into a double for Oakland’s Sean Murphy.

“It was kind of a funky play yesterday where he was trying to run down that ball in the gap there in about the eighth inning and he felt it when he landed. He kind of jumped awkwardly for it,” Servais said. “So we took him out of the game right away and he had that checked on this morning (and got) a very early MRI and it was determined he does have a very small meniscus tear in his right knee. I’m not exactly sure how long he’s going to be out. Is it a scope-type surgery thing? I’m not sure yet. We’ll find out more today.”

Lewis, 25, is hitting .246 with a .333 on-base percentage, .726 OPS, five home runs and four doubles in 36 games this season. He also has two stolen bases.

The Mariners have called up outfielder Taylor Trammell from Triple-A Tacoma to replace Lewis on the roster. Trammell, 23, has excelled with the Rainiers after playing 27 games with Seattle to open the season. In MLB action this season, he has a .157/.255/.337 slash line (.593 OPS) with four home runs, three doubles and two steals. In 17 games with Tacoma, he’s slashing .384/.413/.726 (1.139 OPS) with six homers, seven doubles and three steals.

Jarred Kelenic will shift from left field to center field in Lewis’ absence, Servais said, with Trammell taking over in left.

Also Tuesday, the Mariners activated left-handed pitcher Marco Gonzales from the IL, as expected. Gonzales has recovered from a left forearm strain and is Tuesday’s scheduled starter against Oakland in a 7:10 p.m. game (coverage begins at 6 p.m. with the pregame show on 710 ESPN Seattle). Right-handed pitcher Robert Dugger was optioned to Triple-A to make room for Gonzales.

With Tuesday’s moves, the Mariners’ injured list now currently includes Lewis; first baseman Evan White (hip); starting pitchers James Paxton (Tommy John surgery), Ljay Newsome (elbow) and Nick Margevicius (shoulder); relievers Erik Swanson (groin), Casey Sadler (shoulder), Drew Steckenrider and Kendall Graveman (reportedly COVID-19 protocol); and utility players Dylan Moore (calf), Sam Haggerty (shoulder) and Shed Long (on a rehab assignment for a shin injury).

T-Mobile Park increasing capacity

The Mariners will be able to have even more fans in attendance for their next homestand.

The team announced Tuesday that the state of Washington and King County have given permission to increase seating capacity at T-Mobile Park in time for when the Mariners return home for games from June 14-23.

Per a press release: “The updated operations plan allows 26,265 tickets to be sold as vaccine only with no social distancing. The remaining capacity will be sold in socially distanced pods of 1-6 seats for a total of 4,680 seats. Total ballpark capacity under the approved plan is 30,945 (out of 47,000).”

To this point, the Mariners have had a reduced capacity at T-Mobile Park with socially distanced seating of up to 9,000 and vaccinated-only sections of up to approximately 5,000.

The new capacity also comes with an updated policy for bags and outside food. You can find more details here.

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