The Mariners have confirmed a big comeback for Tuesday night, and it’s big news for several reasons.
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During Seattle Sports’ weekly Scott Servais Show with the Mariners manager, Servais said Kyle Lewis would return from the injured list on Tuesday night to be the designated hitter for the Mariners’ second game of a three-game series against the A’s. from Oakland.
The two reasons that are important: firstly, it has been almost a year since Lewis, the 2020 American League Rookie of the Year, played in one MLB game in nearly a year due to a torn meniscus in his right knee that needed to be surgically repaired; second, a Mariners roster that has been depleted by injuries and struggled over the past month could really use their bat.
Seamen formalized the move around 5 p.m. Tuesdayoptioning left-handed pitcher Danny Young to Triple-A Tacoma to make room for IL’s Lewis activation.
Lewis, 26, is fresh off rehab with Tacoma, where he hit .314 with three home runs, two doubles, five walks, six strikeouts and a 1.044 OPS in 10 games. It was his first action in Triple-A, as he was promoted to the Mariners straight from Double-A at the end of the 2019 season.
— Tacoma Rainiers (@RainiersLand) May 18, 2022
Servais was clearly happy to share the news during his regular weekly interview with Seattle Sports’ Jake Heaps and Stacy Rost on Tuesday afternoon, which airs as part of The Dugout, an hour of Jake and Stacy devoted to interviews and analysis of the Mariners. When Rost asked Servais when fans could see Lewis back on the pitch at T-Mobile Park, he had a little fun with it.
“Why not tonight? Are you okay with that?” Servais replied. “…He’ll be our DH tonight.”
— Curtis Rogers (@AKidFromKent) May 24, 2022
Lewis last played for the Mariners on May 31, 2021, when his injury occurred while running into center field after a fly ball. His right knee has been a constant problem throughout his professional career, first with a torn ACL suffered in a Single-A plate collision in 2016 shortly after being drafted by the Mariners in first round of the MLB draft. It took several years for Lewis to come back 100%, but he exploded onto the scene at the majors. Unfortunately, a bone bruise on the same knee after hitting him on the outside wall in a spring training game led to him starting last season on the IL, and he only played 36 games. after returning home before tearing his meniscus.
The Mariners will limit Lewis to DH for the most part, at least early in his comeback. He only played defense once during his rehab assignment in his second game with the Rainiers, and his knee didn’t respond as expected. As a result, he was now exclusively DH with Tacoma.
“He’ll be in the DH spot (Tuesday), and you probably won’t see him play much outfield here in the near future,” Servais said. “(Whether he plays in the field) it will all be determined by how healthy he is. I think the most important thing is, how does he react? He played the outfield (one game) during his rehab stint Triple-A and it took him a little while to bounce back in. We just thought at the time, the best for our team and for him to impact our team at the big league level is to place him in the DH role, to take him forward and see where that takes us. I don’t know how this is all going to pan out. I know he can swing the bat and he’s a good hitter, and that’s is what motivates me to bring him into the lineup today.
The Mariners could definitely use his help on offense. Runs have been hard to come by for Seattle following injuries to All-Star outfielder Mitch Haniger (high ankle sprain) and receiver Tom Murphy (dislocated shoulder), and Lewis has been a solid contributor during his limited time in the big leagues. In 112 games with the Mariners, Lewis has a .258/.343/.450 slant line with 22 home runs, 12 doubles, 52 RBIs and a .792 OPS.
— ROOTS SPORTS™ | NW (@ROOTSPORTS_NW) May 25, 2021
“It’s exciting,” Servais said. “Kyle is one hell of a player. We’ve seen what he can do on the court when he’s healthy and what he means to our team and our roster. But yeah, it’s been a while, and I’m super excited to release it again. Just excited to have his bat in the lineup, his presence. It makes our lineup much longer when he’s in there.
You can listen to Tuesday’s entire Scott Servais Show at this link or in the player at the top of this article.
The Mariners take on the Oakland A’s at 6:40 p.m. Tuesday night. The radio broadcast of the game will air live on Seattle Sports Station 710 AM, the flagship of the Mariners Radio Network. Coverage begins at 5:30 p.m. with the pregame show.
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