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Mariners’ Scott Servais: Latest on Kyle Lewis and his rehab assignment

May 3, 2022, 2:21 PM
Mariners Kyle Lewis...
Mariners OF Kyle Lewis before a game against the Detroit Tigers on May 17, 2021. (Photo by Steph Chambers/Getty Images)
(Photo by Steph Chambers/Getty Images)

The Seattle Mariners announced some good news on Tuesday – outfielder Kyle Lewis, the 2020 American League Rookie of the Year, is starting a rehab assignment with the Triple-A Tacoma Rainiers on Tuesday night.

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It’s been a long road to recovery for Lewis, who underwent knee surgery after playing just 36 games a year ago. He last appeared in a game on May 31, 2021.

On Tuesday, Mariners manager Scott Servais provided an update on Lewis during his weekly Scott Servais Show, which airs during The Dugout on Seattle Sports Station 710 AM. He had positive things to say about how Lewis has done participating in extended spring training in Arizona.

“He’s been feeling really good,” Servais told Seattle Sports’ Jake and Stacy. “He’s been playing down in Arizona (in) extended spring games with the younger players. He’s played in back-to-back games, he’s played in the outfield.”

That’s certainly a positive development considering this was Lewis’ second knee surgery since he turned pro in 2016, casting doubt into his future defensively. He had been a strong center fielder before tearing his right meniscus in 2021, which was an injury to the same knee he suffered an ACL tear on a collision at the plate less than five years prior in the minor leagues.

Lewis, 26, burst onto the scene with the Mariners as a 2019 September call-up, hitting .268 with an .885 OPS and five homers in 18 games, homering in each of his first three MLB games. He then posted a slash line in 2020 of .262/.364/.437 for an .801 OPS, adding 11 homers in 58 games during the shortened season to win Rookie of the Year.

A bone bruise on that same right knee kept Lewis out for a few weeks to start last season, and he slashed .246/.333/.392 (.726) with five homers before tearing his meniscus.

So what will his assignment with the Rainiers look like?

“I’d laid eyes on kind of his program here over the next few weeks,” Servais said, “how that schedule’s laid out for him to play – DH, have a day off, kind of how it’s worked out. He’s ready to ramp it up. He’s really anxious to get going and eventually get back and help us, but I want to make sure he’s at 100% so I’ll wait to hear how things are going in Tacoma.”

The Mariners could use Lewis’ bat as the offense has struggled on the team’s current road trip. Seattle has also missed right fielder Mitch Haniger for all but nine of its 23 games as he was out with COVID-19, then suffered a high-ankle sprain in his first plate appearance back with the team last Friday. Haniger is currently on the 10-day injured list.

The Scott Servais Show is live every Tuesday to kick off The Dugout, an hour dedicated to Mariners guests and conversation from 1-2 p.m. on Seattle Sports Station’s Jake and Stacy. You can listen to the latest edition of The Scott Servais Show at this link or in the player below.

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