Mariners center fielder Kyle Lewis has been out all month with a deep bone bruise in his right knee, but he could make his 2021 debut within the next few days, Ryan Divish of the Seattle Times relays. Manager Scott Servais said the Mariners hope Lewis will return during their homestand – which runs from tonight through Tuesday – while GM Jerry Dipoto told ESPN 710 that he’s likely to come back Monday. Lewis won AL Rookie of the Year honors in 2020 on the strength of a .262/.364/.437 line with 11 home runs and five stolen bases in 242 plate appearances. The Lewis-less Mariners have used Taylor Trammell in center, but he has slumped to a .132/.283/.316 mark over 46 PA.
More injury updates on a pair of other AL clubs…
- Twins center fielder Byron Buxton, who hasn’t played since Tuesday, is dealing with a mild hamstring strain, Do-Hyoung Park of MLB.com tweets. Buxton was out of the Twins’ lineup again for their game in Anaheim on Friday, but it remains to be seen whether he’ll need to go to the IL. The 27-year-old has gotten off to an otherworldly start this season with a .469/.528/.1.094 line and five homers in 36 trips to the plate. He has already posted 1.2 fWAR, which matches the figure he put up last year in 99 more PA (135).
- The Rangers could reinstate outfielder/designated hitter Willie Calhoun from the 10-day IL on Saturday, per Jeff Wilson of the Fort Worth Star-Telegram. Calhoun suffered a groin injury over a month ago and hasn’t made his 2021 debut as a result. After putting up encouraging offensive numbers two years ago, Calhoun endured a disastrous 2020 that included a fractured jaw in spring training and then a .190/.231/.260 line in 108 regular-season plate trips.
- Sticking with the Rangers, the team announced Friday that it activated left-handed reliever Joely Rodriguez from the 10-day IL and optioned righty Josh Sborz. Rodriguez hasn’t been able to pitch this regular season because of a sprained left ankle. Although he only threw 12 2/3 innings last season, Rodriguez impressed with a 2.13 ERA, 17 strikeouts against five walks, and a 51.7 percent groundball rate. He held his own against lefty and righty hitters alike, limiting batters to a pitiful .174/.255/.239 line.