J.P Crawford and the Seattle Mariners came into this season looking to finally end their postseason drought that dates back to 2001.
The offseason addition of Cy Young winner Robbie Ray along with more top prospects joining the big league squad boosted a renewed optimism that this season would mark the beginning of a new era.
The Mariners came out the gates hot, but have gone 6-19 since their four game winning streak back in April. Their hopes of ending the longest playoff drought in baseball seem to be in serious jeopardy, but there may be hope in the form of 2020 AL Rookie of the Year Kyle Lewis.
Lewis has looked like the 2020 AL Rookie of the Year at the plate during his rehab assignment, slashing .314/.415/1.044 with 11 hits, three homeruns and twelve RBI in 35 Triple A at-bats.
Mariners general manager Jerry Dipoto took to Seattle sports radio to give fans an update on their young budding star.
“He’s performed very well,” Dipoto said. “Yesterday was his first time playing back-to-back games (since the start of the rehab assignment), which is a really good sign for us. Today and throughout the weekend, we’ll find out how he feels coming back from those back-to-back games.”
Lewis’ ability to play more has been a welcomed sight as the Mariners look to add him back to their struggling ball club as soon as possible.
“There’s no question he’s swinging the bat well,” Dipoto continued. “It’s been a really productive rehab assignment. It’s not been as robust as we would like in terms of the number of games he’s played, but as long as he’s coming out of it feeling good and feels like he can contribute, there’s no question he’s one of our best offensive players. To add him would be a real shot in the arm.”
Lewis’ 20-day rehab assignment ended yesterday, so this Saturday the Mariners made a roster move that aims to ease some of his workload as he returns to the outfield.
Justin Upton Back In The Fold
On Saturday, the Mariners signed OG MLBbro Justin Upton for the remainder of the season. Upton was released by the Angels in April, but the Mariners hope that the three-time Silver Slugger Award winner can still help a team desperately in need of outfield production.
Upton struggled toward the end of his tenure with the Angels, so the veteran slugger will report to extended spring training in Peoria, Arizona first in order to get in game shape.
Once he’s available, Upton would look to give the Mariners a boost in the outfield and as designated hitter. Los Angeles is on the hook for the bulk of his remaining $28 million salary, so this is a low risk/high reward move for Seattle.
It will take more than the additions of Lewis and Upton to accomplish that task, but a spark can come from anywhere, and that’s exactly what this squad needs.