The Mariners announced that center fielder Kyle Lewis has begun a rehab assignment in Triple-A tonight, his first competitive assignment since he tore his meniscus last May. Foreshadowing what may come when the 2020 AL Rookie of the Year makes it back to the majors, the 26-year-old Lewis swatted a home run on his first swing back in minor league game action. Equally encouraging for M’s fans is manager Scott Servais’s assessment, who according to MLB.com’s Daniel Kramer notes the team can be “a little bit more aggressive than we’d normally be” in promoting Lewis.
Cutting a 20-day rehab assignment short would be a bold move for a player who played in just 36 games last season, but clearly speaks to the team’s confidence in Lewis’s recovery. For what it’s worth, the Mariners aren’t exactly hurting for offense at the moment, as they rank third in the AL in runs scored. The high-upside outfield trio of Jesse Winker, Julio Rodriguez, and Jarred Kelenic, as well as a mishmash of DH options, have yet to really get it going however, and seem likely to cede time to the right-handed Lewis in the coming weeks.
Some additional injury updates from around the league…
- Mets reliever Trevor May is headed to the 10-day IL with triceps inflammation in his throwing arm, per Tim Healey of Newsday Sports. The typically reliable right-hander is off to a rough start in the 2022 season, allowing sixteen batters to reach base and half of them to score across eight appearances. The Mets currently sit atop the NL win column with an 18-8 record but if there’s one nit to pick with the team’s outstanding play so far it’s the bullpen, who have been a bottom-half unit in terms of run prevention this season. A return to health and vintage form from May will go a long way to shoring up the bullpen and taking pressure off the team’s lineup and rotation, both of which rank as top-5 groups in the sport. Right-hander Adonis Medina, who was acquired from the Pirates in early April, has been recalled to fill the bullpen vacancy.
- The Rangers meanwhile welcomed back right-handed starter Jon Gray from the IL today after he sprained in his knee in his previous start. Gray, one of several splashy signings made by Texas this offseason, has yet to get into a groove with his new club. The 30-year-old has already been placed on the IL twice during the young season, and was pulled after 60 pitches in tonight’s match against the Phillies. A rough first inning ballooned his ERA up to 7.50 on the season, but a quiet pair of ensuing innings is what the Rangers and their beleaguered pitching staff will be looking for more of moving forward. Right-handed reliever Albert Abreu, acquired from the Yankees in April’s Jose Trevino trade, heads to the IL in Gray’s stead with a sprained ankle. Abreu has managed a solid 3.57 ERA on the year, albeit with a worrying 11 walks in just over seven innings of action.
- The Athletic’s Andrew Baggarly rolled out a cavalcade of positive health updates on ailing Giants players today. Notably, injured infielders Evan Longoria and Tommy La Stella will join recovering outfielder LaMonte Wade Jr. on a rehab assignment in Triple-A. Outfielders Joc Pederson and Mike Yastrzemski are nearing full-time returns as well after a right adductor strain and positive COVID test interrupted their respective seasons. Right-handed starter Anthony DeSclafani has also made progress in his recovery from the right ankle inflammation that recently landed him on the IL. Healthy returns from the listed players would be a boon for the club, who currently have several regulars out for COVID-related reasons. Despite sporting an IL that is more recognizable than the starting lineup, the Giants haven’t missed a beat from last season. The team is currently a half game out of first in the NL West, behind the Dodgers and Padres, with a top-3 bullpen and offense that only figures to get deeper in the next few days.