Kyle Lewis Is Returning To The Diamond | Seattle Mariners Just Leveled Up

Kyle Lewis Is Returning To The Diamond | Seattle Mariners Just Leveled Up

The long awaited return of Kyle Lewis to the Seattle Mariners lineup is near.  The 2020 American League Rookie of The Year began his rehab assignment Tuesday in style – with a first-swing home run – as he looks to help them reach the playoffs for the first time in 20 years.

Lewis made his return to the diamond Tuesday night after missing a large majority of last season with a torn meniscus in his right knee.  He only played in 36 games before the injury – the same knee he had surgery on earlier in his career.

It was Lewis’s first plate appearance in Triple-A, since he skipped straight to the Majors from Double-A. He gave the people of Tacoma, Washington something to cheer about.

He watched a ball and a strike go by before hitting a home run on his first swing.  It was the first home run for Lewis since he took the Oakland A’s deep May 31st of last season – also the last time Lewis played a Major League game.

The Return Of Kyle Lewis Has The Mariners Thinking Audaciously

When his second at-bat came around Lewis continued his RBI party, driving in a run on an up-the-middle single to give Tacoma a 3-0 lead.

His third hit was a late-game rally starter for the Rainers, beginning a comeback to win the game.  He took the first pitch of his 6th inning at-bat up the middle to center field to cut into the lead.  Tacoma would go on to win the game 13-11. Lewis finished 3-for-5 with a home run, two runs and three runs batted in.

Winning or losing Tuesday’s slugfest ultimately takes a backseat to the positive outlook and performance Lewis had at the plate.  Now it is not a question of if Lewis will return, but when.

Last season was a special one for Seattle.  Although they missed the playoffs, they had their most wins (90) since 2002 and 2003. Both those years the team reached the 93 win plateau.  Winning a majority of those games without Lewis – the team’s best offensive player in 2020 – was an impressive feat.

Lewis was named the unanimous 2020 American League Rookie of The Year after posting a .264 batting average, .801 OPS, 11 home runs, five steals and 28 RBI during the COVID-shortened season.

He did get off to a slow start last season, only batting .161 during the month of April. It seemed he had just taken a turn for the better with a .273 average, three home runs and nine RBI May but his injury would come shortly after.

Lewis entered the league with one of the most accomplished college baseball resumes in the sport.  He was named the Southern Conference Baseball Player of The Year as well as co-winner of the Gregg Olson Award for College Baseball’s best breakout player in his sophomore year.

His junior year, he was named an All-American by four major baseball writing associations, in addition to receiving the Golden Spikes award for the best college baseball player.  He also won his second Southern Conference Player of The Year award and was voted American Baseball Coaches Division 1 National Player of the Year –  all en route to getting drafted by the Mariners 11th overall in the 2016 MLB Draft.

There is an excess of talent in the Mariners organization, from the 26 on the Major League roster to players coming out of baseball’s current top farm system. But Lewis may be their best offensive player when healthy and is coming for someone’s locker in the near future.

Lewis will join J.P. Crawford, who has been mashing at the plate this season, showing off his new found power swing.  Crawford is currently sixth in the league in on base percentage and ninth in the league in OPS.

There’s no timetable for Lewis’ return to the Major League lineup, but those scary hours are surely on the horizon sooner rather than later.

Kyle Lewis Is Returning To The Diamond | Seattle Mariners Just Leveled Up

The Absence of MLBbro Kyle Lewis Continues To Hover Over The Seattle Mariners To Start The Season

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.

The Return Of Kyle Lewis Has The Mariners Thinking Audaciously

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.

MLBbros Grinding Towards The Playoffs

MLBbros Grinding Towards The Playoffs

The American League Wild Card race is packed with MLBbros looking to make a big impact on this year’s playoffs. 

We’ve already told you about the Bros from the Bronx leading the Yankees surge to the top of the Wild Card standings, and they currently hold a one-game lead over the field.

The Boston Red Sox and Yankees are pulling away from the pack and headed on a collision course for a one-game Wild Card playoff. But with at least 25 more games remaining for all teams involved, the final spot is still up for grabs. 

Oakland A’s

The recent marriage of Josh Harrison and the Oakland A’s is an example of a player whose swagger is perfect for the City he represents. Harrison, who was acquired at the deadline, has been “Mr. Do It All” for the A’s. 

Harrison has taken the majority of his reps at second base, but he also plays third, shortstop, and left field for Oakland. He’s also efficient at the plate. 

Over his last seven games, Harrison has racked up 12 hits, is batting .375 and slugging .469. His latest contributions have been particularly important to the A’s because they’ve come from the leadoff spot. 

Harrison has hit leadoff before, and his approach to the process gives you a look into his mindset as a ballplayer.

“I take pride in being leadoff,” Harrison said when asked about his new role with his team. 

“More than anything, it’s going to take one through nine, if we can jump out early and set with hitters up front, I think — I don’t want to say makes the job easier — you still got to play 27 outs, it’s all about getting to that pitcher and getting to that bullpen.”

 

 

Harrison and the offense will be key to any run the Athletics are able to make, as their pitching staff has certainly done their part.

Seattle Mariners

J.P Crawford and the Seattle Mariners have overcome offensive inconsistencies to end up in the thick of things as we wind down, but one of the major boosts they were expecting for the playoff push, may not be arriving at all. Seattle sits 4.5 games out of the Wild Card slot with 27 games left. 

 

 

With a healthy 2020 NL Rookie of the Year Kyle Lewis, the Mariner’s had a puncher’s chance. Unfortunately, Lewis, who has been recovering from in-season surgery to repair a torn meniscus in his right knee, suffered a setback in his rehab putting his return this season in doubt.

“He’s not feeling that great,” Mariners manager Scott Servais said when asked about Lewis’ rehab. “He’s had a little setback here the last few days. He really picked up his activity level there, trying to get to the point where he could go out in a rehab.”

What a tough break for a guy who was a popular preseason pick for American League MVP.  If he doesn’t return, Lewis would finish this season with a disappointing 130 at-bats. He had 206 at-bats in 2020 in an MLB season shortened to 60 games by COVID-19.

The setback to Lewis puts more pressure on Crawford and the remaining Mariners as they battle for the final playoff spot. The Gold Glover Crawford is slashing .276/.364/.310 over the past seven games but will need to take it to another level if Seattle really stands a chance.

 

Toronto Blue Jays 

Marcus Semien’s Blue Jays were extremely active at the deadline, but they’re still just treading water in the Wild Card race. Despite going 6-4 in their last 10 games, Toronto remains 5 games out of the final playoff spot.

If it’s any small consolation, Semien got a bit of revenge on his former squad with his walk-off  3-run bomb on Saturday, but that stands as one of the lone bright spots for the Toronto second basemen of late. 

Hopefully, the return of fellow MLBbro George Springer can provide a spark for Semien and the Blue Jays. An ignited Blue Jays offense would provide the fireworks we want to see heading into this fantastic finish. Playing in the toughest division in the American League doesn’t help either.

 

 

October is right around the corner, and the playoff picture is slowly but surely becoming clearer. As we wind down the year, let’s keep an eye on these MLBbros as they make the final push for playoff glory.

#HIGHFIVE | Top 5 Black & Brown MLB Players Week 8

#HIGHFIVE | Top 5 Black & Brown MLB Players Week 8

Two MLB bros from the Nation’s capital have been making headlines with their plate and field performances. 

Washington Nationals‘ first baseman Josh Bell takes the top spot in this week’s #HighFive list that also features his longtime teammate Josh Harrison.

 

1. Josh Bell

The former Pittsburgh Pirate has seen his numbers rise after a slow start to the 2021 season.  In his last seven games, Bell is batting .385 with 2 home runs and 5 RBI while slugging .654.  Just this past Monday, Bell was featured on our “Home Boi Highlights” segment for his performance last week, when he batted .429. 

 

 

The former All-Star was traded to the Nationals in December with hopes of him helping to get them back to the World Series.  He has worked his way into the three-hole spot in the lineup and in a competitive National League East could be the difference in whether or not they make the playoffs.

 

2. Marcus Semien

I do not think anyone had a better month of May than Marcus Semien.  He leads all of baseball with 35 hits this month after hitting back-to-back home runs with his double play partner Bo Bichette in game 1 of the Blue Jays doubleheader Thursday.  

In the last seven games, Semien has hit three home runs, slugged 742, and almost hit for the cycle in last Friday’s game against the Tampa Bay Rays.

 

 

This season Semien is making the statement that he is the best 2nd baseman in baseball.  His 13 home runs and 31 RBI lead all second baseman by a wide margin.

 

 

3. Josh Harrison

One of the most exciting bros in baseball makes his well-deserved first appearance on our #Hig Five list this season.  Josh Harrison hit a huge grand slam last Saturday that had the DMV going crazy.  He has 7 hits in his last 21 at-bats while driving in five runs. 

 

 

Harrison owned the Orioles in their three-game winning series batting .500 to power a clean sweep of their Beltway Series rival.

 

4. Aaron Judge

Aaron Judge is probably going yard as I write this list because he’s been on fire. As a matter of fact, there it goes, a two-run homer against the Toronto Blue Jays to tie Thursday night’s game at 3-3 and help propel the Yankees to a crucial 5-3 win. Judge executed his role as a stopper to perfection, helping the Yankees salvage the last game of a three-game series. 

 

 

During his recent hot streak Judge has been more than a home run hitter, even walking off for a win, via the base on ball. 

In his last seven games entering Thursday, the Fresno State alum was batting .348 and walked four times, which is always good to see from a power hitter. His contact-first philosophy has fueled his elevation towards the Top 10 in American League batting leaders. He doesn’t have any room for regression, especially with Twin Tower and MLB bro teammate Giancarlo Stanton still on the shelf.

 

5. Kyle Lewis

After missing the beginning of the 2021 season with a leg injury, it has taken last year’s American League Rookie of the Year a few weeks to find his groove. But he’s getting ready to start dancing like Mike soon.  

 

 

He had both a .400+ OBP and slugging percentage in his last seven games and recorded at least one hit in six of them.  

He’s shown flashes of power this season including the bomb he hit on Monday in Oakland. His bat flip only warrants a 7/10 rating and will be looking for him to impress us a little more when he connects on his next one.