The Absence of Kyle Lewis Continues To Hover Over The Seattle Mariners To Start The Season
Kyle Lewis was to be a major part of the Seattle Mariners rebuilding plans a couple of seasons ago. At the time, He was considered not only one of the most impactful players on the team, but also potentially the AL West. Kyle taking home the 2020 American League Rookie of the Year further solidified those beliefs.
However in 2021, knee issues led to surgery for a torn meniscus ended his season at just 36 games. Despite the fact Lewis has been active in spring training, hitting, playing catch and some running, the team has not released him to do all baseball related activities. At this stage in his recovery, he’ll probably be out of the lineup when the Seattle Mariners take the field to start the season.
When Kyle Lewis is cleared, the Mariners face the challenge of keeping him in the lineup in situations where they can keep him healthy to continue to build on his rookie year contributions. Despite the fact that the best theoretical option is to put Lewis in center field, his injury history is a concern. Julio Rodriguez, a player Seattle is very high on, could take over center field.
If Rodriguez does man center field, Seattle could move Lewis to left field, protecting his body with less area to cover. A more reliable option for both parties could be moving him to DH in the lineup while playing him in the outfield a few games a week.
The Mariners have not made a decision on a primary DH in the lineup yet. If Seattle moves Kyle to the DH spot, it opens up options in the outfield. Not only will Rodriguez get playing time, but also Lewis’ bat stays in the lineup.
Even though he’s progressing, Kyle realizes that patience is a virtue – despite his desire to get back on the field.
“Definitely tough, I have a lot of conversations about what can I do today, Larson said in a King5.com. interview. What can I do, but you know, you do have to trust that, and me being a person who’s had to do multiple knee rehabs in my career is kind of, you know over time, I feel like you kind of get a little bit more understanding of patience. As soon as I can I’ll be out there and doing what I can to help the guys. So just try to lean on that.”
According to Baseball Reference, Lewis finished 2021 with hitting numbers of .246/.333/.392, before the knee injury ended his campaign.