BRENT STECKER

Mariners Injury Updates: Latest on Yusei Kikuchi, Kyle Lewis and more

Jun 6, 2021, 1:51 PM
Mariners Yusei Kikuchi...
Yusei Kikuchi left Saturday's game after being hit by a batted ball on his knee. (Getty)
(Getty)

The banged-up Seattle Mariners have a lot of injuries to keep track of right now, but there was hopeful news Sunday morning that starting pitcher Yusei Kikuchi will avoid a stint on the injured list.

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Kikuchi was nailed by a hard shot off the bat of the Angels’ David Fletcher in the fifth inning of Saturday’s loss in Anaheim, and he exited the game after writhing in pain for a few minutes and struggling to get to his feet. Manager Scott Servais’ update on Kikuchi’s condition Sunday morning signaled that the Mariners may have averted disaster this time, however.

“Yusei Kikuchi came in this morning much better than what we maybe expected,” Servais told reporters during his daily media session. “He has some minimal swelling in his knee, he’s getting treatment right now, but he’s moving around OK. He’s not on crutches or anything like.”

Kikuchi, who is off to a strong start this season at 3-3 with a 3.92 ERA, 1.05 WHIP, 69 strikeouts and 20 walks over 11 starts (66 2/3 innings), is not scheduled to start again until next Saturday, which may allow the Mariners to keep him off the IL.

“He got hit pretty good last night but he’s trying to work out some of that swelling here today and he’ll get treatment most of the day today. He’s got some time before his next scheduled start so we’ll just have to wait and see how he continues to respond there,” Servais said.

Here are a few more injury updates Servais shared Sunday.

• Servais expects center fielder Kyle Lewis will make a decision Monday regarding his torn right meniscus. He said Lewis has “consulted with a couple different doctors.” The Mariners believe Lewis will miss significant time, especially if his injury requires surgery.

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• Top reliever Kendall Graveman, who has been out of action since mid-May due to COVID-19 protocols, threw a live batting practice Saturday in Tacoma and will make at least one appearance in the next day or two with the Triple-A Rainiers. Servais said there is no set timetable for his return to the Mariners, but Graveman may be back soon with Seattle if all goes well in his scheduled rehab outing.

“He’s been down so long,” Servais said. “… I know he’s gonna get at least one outing in Tacoma and then we’ll see how he feels after that. … Just have to take it how he feels after every time he throws.”

• Outfielder Jake Fraley was out of Sunday’s lineup a day after hitting a grand slam for his second MLB homer. Fraley recently returned from a hamstring injury and Servais said the Mariners were being cautious as Fraley’s hamstring was “not feeling great.” He added that Fraley and the struggling Jarred Kelenic, who was also not in the starting lineup Sunday in order to get a breather, might make appearances off the bench in the series finale against the Angels.

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