The Seattle Mariners expect former American League Rookie of the Year Kyle Lewis to be a full participant at the start of spring training, general manager Jerry Dipoto said Friday.
Lewis, who won Rookie of the Year in the shortened 2020 season, played just 36 games last season due to ongoing issues with his right knee. Lewis underwent surgery for a torn meniscus, then suffered a setback in his recovery that ultimately led to Seattle shutting him down for the season in early September.
“We’re really excited to know where Kyle Lewis is at right now, just based on the feedback he’s provided, what we’ve learned from his rehab professionals, and what we’ve seen on video. from his baseball practices,” Dipoto said. “He looks like he’s going full throttle and ready to play.”
Lewis was a Seattle star in the shortened 2020 season, hitting .262 with 11 home runs and playing almost every day in center field. It was feared his knee issues would limit his ability to be an everyday center back and Dipoto said Lewis would likely be replaced by a designated hitter, especially with the emergence of Jarred Kelenic as a center field option this season. last.
“Finding a way to get players onto the pitch and maximize their chances without overwhelming them with defensive reps, we found that was a really positive thing that came out of our 2021 season. And we want to continue with that model. said Dipoto.
Seattle should be a contender in the AL West after a surprising 90-win season. Dipoto joked that he is “ready to trade” in the coming days as he is looking for an additional left-handed batsman for the roster and another flexible starter.
Before the lockout, Seattle added AL Cy Young winner Robbie Ray and traded for infielder Adam Frazier.
“I suspect there will be a host of free agents who would love to sign and enter camps, and there are teams who want to figure out what their roster will look like,” Dipoto said. “So does that speed things up?” I do not know the answer. But we are ready to evolve as the market evolves.