Mariners Injury Updates: M’s ‘hopeful’ Kyle Lewis returns by end of month
Mariners manager Scott Servais said this week that Seattle’s lineup is the “deepest” it has been all season, but it may not be far off from being even more complete.
Thursday on 710 ESPN Seattle’s Jerry Dipoto Show, the Mariners general manager provided an update on center fielder Kyle Lewis, who has been out since the start of June due to a torn right meniscus and subsequent surgery.
“He’s now doing baseball activity,” Dipoto said during his weekly interview with Danny O’Neil and Paul Gallant. “He’s hitting down in the cages and starting to go through some more explosive, athletic movements. We’re hopeful that we have him back by month’s end but we are not going to put a hard date on it quite yet. We are cautiously optimistic that it’s moving along at the right pace, which is a really good thing for us.”
Lewis started this season on the injured list after suffering a bone bruise to his right knee late in spring training when he banged it against the outfield wall going after a fly ball. That’s the same knee Lewis had to have surgically repaired in his first minor league season, something that took him multiple years to get back to 100% from. His current IL stint started after he came up lame following a leap trying to catch a ball over his head in deep center, resulting in the eventual diagnosis of a torn meniscus.
In 36 games this season, Lewis has a .246/.333/.392 slash line (.726 OPS) with five home runs and four doubles. He won the 2020 American League Rookie of the Year award, posting a .262/.364/.437 slash (.801 OPS) with 11 homers and three doubles in 58 games.
The Mariners recently received an offensive boost with the trade acquisition of second baseman Abraham Toro from the Houston Astros and the return of outfielder Jake Fraley from the IL, and the lineup would become even more deep with Lewis back in the mix.
“I think (what) gets lost in the wash a little bit is that at some point we will get last year’s Rookie of the Year back,” Dipoto said.
Mariners rotation update
Seattle now has a full five-man starting rotation after picking up veteran left-hander Tyler Anderson in a trade with Pittsburgh last week, but they should have a couple more options to start soon, as well.
Dipoto said 25-year-old southpaw Justus Sheffield (forearm and oblique strains) is nearing a return, as is 25-year-old right-hander Justin Dunn (shoulder strain).
“Sometime when we get home in this next homestand I believe we’ll see Justus Sheffield, and Justin Dunn is probably not too far behind,” said the Seattle GM.
Sheffield struggled mightily before his trip to the injured list and owns a 6.48 ERA and 1.778 WHIP in 15 starts this season. The Mariners certainly hope he can get back to the form he had in 2020 when he posted a 3.58 ERA and 1.301 WHIP in 10 starts.
Dunn, meanwhile, was enjoying a much better season than he did in 2020 before landing on the IL. He has a 3.75 ERA and 1.311 WHIP in 11 starts in 2021.