Outfielder Kyle Lewis is making progress and could start the Mariners rehab assignment this weekend
OAKLAND, Calif. – While the Mariners weren’t at T-Mobile Park, outfielder Kyle Lewis, recovering from surgery to repair a torn meniscus in his right knee, has been busy working to get off the injured list and make a contribution to perform last month of the season.
“Kyle has gotten into baseball pretty well,” said Mariners manager Scott Servais. “He’s shagging balls in the outfield and raising his limb. Hopefully a rehab mission can start for him this weekend. This is the latest I heard. It’s not clear there, but that has been whirled around here lately as he feels a lot better. ”
The rehab stint started with a few games with a particular hitter and built him up in game form and played on the field.
“You sure want to get his legs under him and reduce his timing,” said Servais. “We also understand that we are here almost in September. So that the clock is ticking a little on September 1st and whether the players can come back and support and influence a club. We definitely want to make sure he’s perfectly healthy and feeling good about where his game is at before we consider activating him here in the Major League. I’m looking forward to getting it back sometime. ”
Regarded as a key part of the Mariners’ rebuilding plan, he was named Rookie of the Year of the American League in 2020 and should be a mid-order presence in 2021.
However, during the last week of training in the spring, he suffered a bone contusion in the same right knee, forcing him to start the season on the injured list.
After missing the first 17 games of the season, he returned to the line-up. He played 36 games before the meniscal tear and posted a .246 / .333 / .392 slash line with four doubles, five homers, 11 RBI, 16 walks and 37 strikeouts in 147 record appearances. In his last 10 games he had a .289 / .341 / .500 slash line with two doubles, two homers, five RBI, two walks and 10 strikeouts in 41 record appearances.
The operation was the third for his right knee.
He suffered tears in his anterior cruciate ligament and his inner and outer meniscus while playing with the plate just months after the Mariners turned him 11th. It would require reconstructive surgery.
Lewis would have another arthroscopic surgery ahead of the 2018 season to correct some problems in his knee. But after this procedure, Lewis stayed healthy and played without any significant health problems until this season.
Break-ins and fights
When A’s starter Paul Blackburn’s Jarred Kelenic sang into left field, it snapped a series of 24 consecutive record appearances without a hit. His last hit was a solo home run by Blue Jay’s reliever Trevor Richards on August 14th. During that hitless run, Kelenic struck nine times with just four walks.
“Jarred had a really good last homestand,” said Servais. “He didn’t have that much to do on this road trip and the teams are sure to make him a bit tougher. He doesn’t have many pitches to hit. Houston pitched us really well. You have a really good ability to run the game board. When he got pitches for a hit, he didn’t get it into play. ”
Kelenic isn’t the only one having problems. Outfielder Jake Fraley wasn’t the productive machine on the base before he was put on the COVID-19 injured list. He missed 15 games and wasn’t the same hitter.
He has had a .145 / .230 / .218 slash line in 19 games and 61 record appearances since his return. He has eight hits with a double, a homer, four RBI, six walks and 18 strikeouts.
“Jake played great and Jake’s calling card really was his ability to control the strike zone,” said Servais. “He just wasn’t chasing and worked his way through some hard punches and got a lot of big hits for us. No question.”
The 15 missed games at the IL and in the rehab stint afterwards had an effect.
“That really disrupted his season and certainly affected his timing a bit,” said Servais. “I think he’s showing some signs of getting out of there. And I feel good to have him out there. Jake’s entire game is really driven by his ability not to chase, control the hitting zone, and bring pitchers to him. ”